Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing carbon from the air or industrial processes and storing it safely in the environment.
There are many environmental benefits of carbon sequestration.
Carbon sequestration can help alter the impact of climate change and can improve the environment overall by reusing the carbon that has been emitted.
We take a deeper dive into carbon sequestration and look at some of the benefits.
How is Carbon Sequestration Good?
Carbon sequestration is good because it helps to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
This assists in reducing the number of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and can ultimately help to stop climate change.
Although reducing carbon emissions is the best way to help the environment, sequestering carbon can play an important role in mitigating climate change.
Other important roles sequestering carbon plays include:
- It can provide more time to complete the green energy transition
- It can offset emissions that have already occurred
Will Carbon Capture Save the Planet?
When done correctly, carbon sequestration can help to reduce atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other gasses.
This can reduce the rate of global warming and potentially reduce the severity of its impacts.
Carbon sequestration is also good because it can be applied to existing processes that are hard to make green in other ways.
For example, producing certain metals requires furnaces that emit CO2.
Capturing that CO2 and sequestering it allows those industrial processes to still be used while reducing the risk to the climate.
Is Carbon Sequestration Good for the Environment?
Yes, carbon sequestration is beneficial for the environment.
This is because it reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the air, which helps to mitigate climate change.
The only downside to carbon sequestration is the public perception that it is a perfect solution for climate change.
If people expect that carbon can be sequestered later, they might not prioritize reducing emissions now.
In short, although the technology is good for the environment, there is a risk that carbon sequestration will alter peoples’ behavior in negative ways in the short term.
For that reason, it is important to pursue carbon sequestration alongside other ways to improve the environment, like using solar panels and green energy.
Read More: Solar Energy Pros and Cons. Learn all about this green energy here.
How Efficient is Carbon Capture and Storage?
The capture and storage of carbon are highly efficient when applied to industrial processes.
If the process is used to capture CO2 emitted by power plants or industrial facilities, it can be as much as 90% efficient.
However, when the process is used to capture carbon from the air, it is a less efficient process.
For sequestration to work and to remain green when capturing carbon from the air, the process often needs to be powered using green energy.
This video provides a good overview of how carbon sequestration works, and some of the efficiency benefits it can provide:
How Does Carbon Benefit the Environment?
In the short term, having more carbon in the environment can actually provide benefits for the planet.
The Benefits of Carbon
More carbon dioxide in the air is already causing plants to grow faster and in greater densities than they would otherwise.
Because plants use carbon dioxide, having more of the gas can help plants.
In the longer term, though, the harms of greater CO2 concentrations begin to emerge.
Plants may grow better in the short term, but in the longer term, global warming caused by CO2 causes climate disruptions that harm the environment.
Can Carbon Sequestration Reduce Global Warming?
Yes, carbon sequestration can play a role in reducing global warming.
Carbon sequestration is the capture and storage over the long term of carbon in plants, soils, rocks, or the ocean.
If carbon is removed from the air or never released in the first place due to sequestering during an industrial process, sequestration can help mitigate climate change.
It is important to note that the process is not immediate.
Carbon removed from the air today will benefit global warming down the road.
Why Carbon Sequestration is Important for the Ecological Balance
For global temperatures to remain stable and balanced, CO2 in the atmosphere must remain at reasonable levels.
High CO2 in the atmosphere can lead to global warming because the ecological balance is disrupted.
Removing that CO2 can help to restore the balance.
Carbon sequestration removes carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in a way that will not reenter the atmosphere for a very long time.
This is important because it helps to keep atmospheric CO2 levels from rising too high, which would cause global temperatures to increase.
Carbon sequestration is one of the many ways that we can help to keep the Earth’s climate in balance and prevent catastrophic climate change.
Why is Carbon Capture Needed?
In order to sequester carbon, it first needs to be captured.
While air capture is appealing, most capture occurs during industrial processes that create carbon dioxide as a byproduct.
Industrial processes that use fossil fuels are responsible for a large amount of global greenhouse gas emissions.
These processes include, but are not limited to:
- Natural gas processing
- Cement manufacturing
- Iron and steel production
Carbon capture is needed because it can redirect the carbon released by these processes into storage so that it doesn’t reach the environment.
What is the Benefit of Carbon Sequestration in Wetlands?
Carbon sequestration in wetlands can help to reduce gas emissions and combat climate change.
The soils in wetlands are able to act as a storage platform for large amounts of CO2, which can help to offset emissions and pollution from other sources.
Read More: Cause and Effect of Pollution. Learn how pollution impacts us and our environment.
Are Wetlands Good for Carbon Capture?
Due to their soil and water, wetlands are ideal for carbon capture.
They provide other environmental benefits, as well.
Wetlands can help to purify water and provide a habitat for wildlife.
These ancillary benefits are above and beyond the climate benefits wetlands provide by sequestering carbon.
Wetlands provide additional benefits, too.
They can control storm runoff, and also offer places for people to hike or be in nature.
Restoring damaged wetlands can also increase biodiversity in ecosystems.
Carbon sequestration provides an array of environmental benefits.
To make the most impact on climate change, though, the technology must be used alongside other green technology options.