To stop global warming at the key threshold of 1.5 degrees celsius, the world needs to find a way to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 (at the latest). But even some of the most optimistic scenarios for how this would look acknowledge that there will still be some emissions at that time. To cancel them out and achieve net-zero, we’ll need to have ways of removing some carbon from the atmosphere, too.
What will those be? A new paper lays out a broad spectrum of the options we’ll need to employ. They range from high-tech—carbon capture devices that suck carbon directly from the air—to exceedingly low-tech, like planting trees or breeding new plants with extra long roots designed to sequester more emissions. What’s very clear is that all this technology (besides trees, of course) are in their infancy. The main thing they all need if they’ll ever succeed: tons more money for R&D. Read more