for a time when a deep reduction in greenhouse gases is required,
researchers have begun exploring the last-ditch option of carbon
sequestration -- taking carbon emissions from power plants and other
sources out of circulation. Carbon dioxide currently makes up five
to 15 percent of power plant emissions. Sally Benson heads an effort
to examine pumping
carbon dioxide underground, exploiting it, for instance, to help
extract oil and gas from depleted reservoirs.
up a third of the carbon currently emitted by human activity, roughly two
billion metric tons each year. The amount of carbon that would
double the load in the atmosphere would increase the concentration in the
deep ocean by only two percent. Exploring the
sequestration of additional carbon in the ocean, scientists are
examining two strategies -- direction injection and sea
"fertilization." Research will reveal whether these
strategies really work, and if there are problems associated with them.
studies project serious water
problems for California and other western states because of an
increase in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. By the middle of
this century, the West may face warmer overall temperatures, more winter
rain but less snow. In turn, this will mean more flooding in the
spring and, as water managers drain water from reservoirs to abate
flooding, reduced water supply during already dry summers.