The world’s carbon dioxide emissions have increased dramatically over the past few decades. In fact, they’ve risen at an average rate of 1.8 percent per year since 1980. And while we’re not entirely sure what causes this increase, we do know that it’s having a significant effect on our planet’s climate. As greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, scientists warn that we could eventually run out of room to store excess carbon dioxide.
In order to avoid running out of space, some experts suggest that we need to start thinking about ways to reduce our carbon footprint. One way to accomplish this would be to use less fossil fuels and instead focus on using renewable energy sources. However, if we don’t take action soon, we may find ourselves unable to store any additional carbon dioxide.
So how much carbon dioxide does the Earth hold? According to NASA, the total amount of carbon stored in the atmosphere is currently around 400 billion tons. That means that the Earth holds roughly 25 times more carbon than it did before human activity began to change the environment. If current trends continue, however, scientists say that the amount of carbon stored in our atmosphere could reach 800 billion tons by 2100.
But even though we’re storing more carbon dioxide than ever before, we still aren’t taking full advantage of the storage capacity of the ocean. While the oceans can absorb approximately 30 gigatons of carbon each year, they only hold about 2.5 gigatons right now. So if we want to keep storing carbon dioxide, we’ll need to find a way to get rid of it.
One option is to bury it underground. But according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this isn’t necessarily the best solution. Instead, the IPCC recommends that we look into finding ways to remove carbon dioxide from the air. This includes things like planting trees and capturing carbon dioxide from power plants.
While these methods might sound great, they’re not without their own problems. For example, planting trees takes time and requires a lot of land. Plus, many people argue that removing carbon dioxide from the air is just as bad as releasing it in the first place.
So what should we do? Well, according to the IPCC, we should try to limit our carbon emissions and then make sure that we store enough carbon to offset those emissions.