5 of the strangest ideas to fight climate change When it comes to fighting climate change, the more ideas, the better. While these creative decisions may seem rushed at first, if ever there was a time to embrace creative and even crazy ideas, now would be it.
Here are some of the most surprising ideas scientists have come up with to combat climate change.
1. Mechanical trees
What do you do when you don’t have real trees? You put fakes, of course. Klaus Lackner, a professor of engineering, invented a mechanical tree designed to capture carbon. According to Arizona State University, once completed, the tree will be 33 feet tall, designed to capture ambient carbon from the air. The tree will be passive and able to quietly and cost-effectively sequester carbon, just like a real tree.
The first tree, located on Arizona State University’s campus, will capture 200 pounds of carbon per day, and Lackner hopes to scale the technology so that “tree farms” can capture up to 1,000 tons carbon per day.
Read more: We can’t just plant billions of trees to stop climate change
2. Construction of underwater walls to block glaciers
As the warm ocean water collides with the glaciers, it melts them at an alarming rate. That’s why some scientists have proposed building underwater walls to protect the glaciers from this increasingly warm water. The size of the wall will depend on the size of the glacier, according to a March 2018 study published in the journal Nature.
For example, a Greenland glacier would require a wall 3 miles long and 350 feet high. “We believe that geoengineered glaciers on a similar scale could delay significant amounts of Greenland and Antarctic land ice from reaching the sea for centuries, buying time to address global warming,” the study authors wrote.
Read more: 20 things you didn’t know about glaciers
3. Eclipse of the sun
Researchers at Harvard University are toying with the idea of blocking the sun’s rays with calcium carbonate as one way to combat climate change. It will act as an antacid for the atmosphere, cooling things down. The Harvard researchers’ plan would release calcium carbonate into the atmosphere via planes in the stratosphere to see how well they reflect sunlight.
According to an August 2018 study published in the journal Natureaerosols would mimic the sun shading effects of volcanoes because after major volcanic eruptions like El Chichón and Mount Pinatubo, for example, the earth is known to go through a cooling period due to the reduced amount of sunlight.
Read more: 5 of the most explosive volcanic eruptions
4. Spraying arctic ice with glass
The California-based Arctic Ice Project has an innovative idea — to spray a thin layer of hollow glass microspheres (HGM) on Arctic ice to improve its ability to reflect solar radiation. The thinking is that this thin layer of glass will protect the younger ice, which is highly susceptible to melting, until it grows into more mature “highly reflective multi-year ice”.
According to the group, “[t]deploying HGM technology in strategic Arctic locations could provide an additional decade or more to decarbonize the world before the worst impacts of climate change are realized and become irreversible.
Read more: Arctic sea ice is retreating worse than previously thought
5. Ultra White Cool Paint
Purdue University researchers have come up with a crazy idea to fight climate change – paint everything bright white. Their new Ultra White paint is more than 98 percent reflective, allowing it to keep hot surfaces cooler for longer periods of time.
Scientists claim that painting 1,000 square feet of surface with this paint can have a cooling power of 10 kilowatts. According to World Economic Forumin cities that are heating up at an alarming rate, this paint can help cool things down a bit, at least for a while.
Read more: Debunking 3 Common Myths About Climate Change