Editorial Feature

Five Technologies That Could Help Climate Change


Image Credits: Photos.com

Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing the world today. Left un-tended, it will eventually make the surface of the planet inhospitable to most human life. Even other living creatures will be affected in a negative way. It will change the face of our planet forever and it will do it in just a few generations.

However, there is good news. Technologies exist that can combat the problem by reducing the impact of climate change, helping humans adapt to a changed environment, and perhaps even putting a stop to climate change altogether by reversing it. These are the five technologies that will have the biggest impact on helping the climate change issue.

Changing the way we produce energy is the most important thing that can be done to help the climate change issue. There are plenty of clean ways of producing energy. We're just not using them as much as we should right now. However, we must start using energy that doesn't produce pollution. One of the best technologies currently available for doing this is algae biofuels.

Algae grows in waste water and sunlight, which are both renewable resources. Algae can be harvested in large quantities because it grows so quickly and easily, and there is always a ready supply. Think of the green slime in an uncleaned swimming pool and you'll realize you've seen algae plenty of times. Algae can be burned cleanly without byproducts to produce fuel for heating and transportation. It is one of the cleanest sources of renewable energy available to us.

Using solar energy is another area where technology can make a difference. Solar panels on every home haven't caught on in a big way yet because they are expensive to buy. However, technology exists to provide large numbers of people with solar energy at a fraction of the cost of solar panels.

This technology is called the solar power tower. The tower is bombarded with direct heat from the sun by thousands of mirrors placed around it. The heat collected by the tower produces steam, and the steam powers a turbine, which produces energy. A handful of enterprising companies are putting plans together to begin providing this technology to areas in the Western United States.

Wind turbines are another great way to generate energy that is free of fossil fuels and pollution. They're gaining in popularity. However, the main drawback of wind power is that it is intermittent and unreliable. Power is only available when there is wind, and that power cannot be stored as it can with solar energy.

A new technology in development by the General Compression company is aiming to fix that issue. The company is simply replacing generators with compressors in wind turbines. The compressors compress the air collected by the turbines, and this compressed air can be stored and used as needed.

Wind Turbines are gaining in popularity, but are they unreliable?

Wind Turbines are gaining in popularity, but are they unreliable? Image Credits: Photos.com

Cleaning up the greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere is an important step in helping the planet draw back from climate change. Until recently, a decent solution to the problem has seemed just out of reach. However, a new company in Arizona is working on an invention that may prove to be just the thing we need to clean up the earth's air.

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas culprit and Global Research Technologies is building a carbon dioxide scrubber prototype that would pull one ton of carbon dioxide out of the earth's atmosphere every day. If it works, millions would need to be made to make a difference in the earth's carbon dioxide levels. However, the technology is extremely promising as a remedy to the greenhouse gas problem.

Finally, smart grid technology can play a big part in helping climate change. This technology will basically change old, outdated people-controlled power stations to computer-run stations that can easily send out renewable energy, prevent outages, manage power supplies, and give customers easy ways to reduce their use of energy. It may seem like a simple thing, but it has the potential to have a big impact against climate change, and the idea is catching on all over the world.

Technology can help the world fight climate change. Some technologies are already available and being used on a test basis, while others are in the experimental phase but showing excellent promise. Right now, there is not much government financial incentive for developing these technologies, so it's up to private individuals and companies that care about the future of the planet to bring these technologies to the public.

Fortunately, a lot of people do care about climate change and are doing what they can to help manage or even reverse it. These five technologies are prime examples of what the human race can do to protect their planet.

Sources and Further Reading

Kris Walker

Written by

Kris Walker

Kris has a BA(hons) in Media & Performance from the University of Salford. Aside from overseeing the editorial and video teams, Kris can be found in far flung corners of the world capturing the story behind the science on behalf of our clients. Outside of work, Kris is finally seeing a return on 25 years of hurt supporting Manchester City.

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