What does CO2 have to do with climate change?
The world is warming and it’s largely due to human activities. Evidence for this rapid climate change is compelling. The ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998, and the four warmest years on record have all occurred since 2014. This warming of the globe is starting to show dramatic effects.
- Global sea level rise has accelerated, rising almost twice as fast between 1993 and 2010 than from 1901 to 2010
- Warming oceans are leading to many of the World’s coral reefs to acidify and die
- Glacial retreat, decreased snow cover and declining Arctic sea ice are all occurring on a global level
- Extream weather events are happening in more frequency and intensity
All of these changes across the planet are happening due to the increasing amounts of CO2 that is stuck in our atmosphere.
This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.)
Can we still limit warming to 2°C from pre-industrial levels?
In order to keep the global temperature rise below the 2°C target adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the amount of CO2 within our atmosphere must stay below 1 trillion tonnes of carbon. If we continue along our current trajectory of burning fossil fuels there may only be one solution to keep the global temperature from staying below the 2°C target. The need to reach net negative CO2 emissions may be critical if we are not able to increase the current rate at which we are reducing our current emissions.
Global CO2 emissions since 1980 (solid black) and country pledges under the Paris Agreement (dashed) compared to a high emissions scenario (orange) and a scenario compatible with limiting warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels (blue). Source: data from Le Quéré, C. et al. (2016) based on Rogelj et al, (2016
Our synthetic fuel reuses existing CO2 from the atmosphere rather than releasing new CO2 from fossil fuels.
Every barrel of oil extracted from the earth and later refined into a fuel will add additional amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere when burned. Instead of continuing to release new amounts of CO2 into the environment, why not use the CO2 that is already in our atmosphere? Using Direct Air Capture technology, licensed from Carbon Engineering, we are able to effectively reuse existing atmospheric CO2 to create clean liquid fuels that add little to no new carbon to the atmosphere when burned. By reusing atmospheric CO2, Carbon Engineering’s AIR TO FUELS™ technology can produce renewable fuels that have a life-cycle carbon intensity that is ~90% lower than fossil fuels.
Finite supply of fossil fuels