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For mitigate climate change It is not enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The use of elimination strategies is also required. excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulated in the atmosphere. These strategies cannot replace actions to reduce emissions, but they can help offset those that are difficult to reduce and, more importantly, allow countries to achieve as soon as possible net zero emissions.

The removal of CO2 from the atmosphere can be achieved through the development of anthropogenic sinks biological, geochemical or chemical in nature. There is no shortage of ideas on how to do it. However, many approaches place considerable demands on natural resources and, in addition, must be operate sustainablywithout compromising other essential activities such as agriculture and biodiversity.

The success of any initiative to remove CO2 from the atmosphere requires a careful assessment of all land use needs. Reforestation and improvement of forest management These are well-known initiatives that can help store carbon and enhance biodiversity, but their benefits may be limited by the availability of land. Currently, about half of the world’s habitable areas are dedicated to agriculture, an activity necessary to feed a growing population. One way to expand the CO2 removal capacity from these initiatives is through the agroforestrythat is, incorporating trees into agriculture, so that the land can, at the same time, produce food, absorb CO2 and conserve biodiversity. However, this requires expert management and may require commitments to reduce acreage.

Tree cover expansion can contribute to CO2 removal, but we cannot rely solely on this option, given the limitations of available land. Another promising option is accelerate the natural alteration of silicate rocks, a process that absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. This could be achieved by spreading crushed rock over agricultural land, thus reducing the need for additional land. In this line, a recent study concludes that the implementation of this technique in the United Kingdom could achieve the elimination of up to 45% of the CO2 required for the country to reach net zero emissions in 2050. In addition, the study shows that the accelerated alteration of the rocks could also benefit agriculture by reversing soil acidification and reducing the need for fertilizers. Collateral benefits that could help encourage the implementation of this technique.

In addition to the two methods mentioned, there is a wide range of options to remove CO2 ranging from wetland restoration to direct extraction of CO2 from the air, from membranes and chemical reactions. Each approach has its own benefits and challenges. And while many of these strategies have been shown to be technically feasible, few have been implemented on a large scale. They still require a continuous R&D effort to accelerate their maturation.

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And, in parallel, we must also analyze the possible unintended consequences of its use. For example, changes in forest cover can directly affect rainfall and temperature in a region. Furthermore, large-scale reforestation could cause significant changes in the hydric balance from many regions of the world. Comprehensive monitoring of the various CO2 removal technologies is necessary in order to measure their long-term effectiveness, as well as any environmental impact.

The removal of CO2 from the atmosphere is likely to become increasingly important in the fight against climate change. The success of your application will depend on the availability of a wide range of optionssufficiently developed to allow the deployment of the most appropriate methods and technologies for each case and place, in order to maximize collateral benefits and minimize adverse environmental impacts.

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