Carbon Capture
Aiza Bragg
Sir William Osler Elementary
Floor Location : J 200 V

Climate change is a current and pressing issue in a world where carbon dioxide is constantly being released into the atmosphere through the reliance on and overproduction of carbon-based fuel. Last year, carbon emissions totalled to 36.1 billion metric tonnes. Climate change is a problem because the carbon traps heat inside the Earth’s atmosphere, which can have severe and negative effects. Carbon sequestration is a way to mitigate global warming, by removing carbon from the atmosphere in several different ways. This study focuses on a question that involves two ways to sequester carbon. Which is more effective for the long-term storage of carbon: Blue Carbon as produced by estuaries or Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology? The first method, Blue Carbon, is a natural process that refers to the sequestration of carbon within a marine environment, like an estuary. Estuaries sequester carbon when the seagrasses that grow within them photosynthesize, drawing in and storing carbon below the sediment layers. The second method is CCS. This refers to a system used by an oil/gas factory to sequester carbon from their emissions, and involves a four-step process to capture, process, transport, and store the carbon. While both methods have issues and benefits, Blue Carbon proved more beneficial than CCS in several comparisons of safety, affordability, environmental impact, and negative hidden costs. One main reason Blue Carbon is more effective is because CCS is linked to corporations and industries, which means its use is influenced by this, like using CCS for Advanced Oil Recovery, which brings financial gain but not environmental benefit. Still, a future with less carbon in the atmosphere requires the amount of carbon sequestered to be higher than the emissions produced. This requirement is not being met by both of the methods combined. Climate change needs to be ended, not just mitigated. Carbon sequestration might still play a role in the efforts to reduce, or even eliminate, unnatural carbon emissions, but there also need to be solutions that can be put in place to finally end climate change.