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A new, peer-reviewed study concludes that by far the best method to fight climate change will be to cut down the amount of emissions that we are putting into the atmosphere.
The research team from UCLA and five other universities also found that climate engineering will not be sufficient enough to slow global warming.
The study, which was lead by Daniela Cusack, an assistant professor of geography in UCLA's College of Letters and Science looked at a range of possible approaches to dissipating greenhouse gases and reducing warming, according to the UCLA Newsroom report.
The team focused on five strategies that appear to hold the most promise in tackling climate change, and they are.....
--Reducing emissions --Sequestering carbon through biological means on land and in the ocean, such as improving soil management --Storing carbon dioxide in liquefied form in underground geological formations and wells --Increasing Earth's cloud cover --Solar reflection
By far, the best methods at reducing emissions was through conservation, increased energy efficiency and the use of low-carbon fuels.
Of the engineering options (above) that group evaluated, sequestering carbon through biological means — or converting atmospheric carbon into solid sources of carbon like plants — holds the most promise, according to the UCLA report.
The study's second most promising climate engineering strategy, after carbon sequestration, was carbon capture and storage, particularly when the technique is used near where fuels are being refined.
The idea of adding iron to the oceans in order to stimulate the growth of algae, which sequester carbon was found to be the least viable solution because less than a quarter of the algae could be expected to eventually sink to the bottom of the ocean, which would be the only way that carbon would be sequestered for a long period of time.
Reducing the amount of sunlight that is heating the atmosphere through the use of reflectors in outer space or cloud seeding was the second least viable approach as the potential impacts on other aspects of the climate are still not well understood.
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