Over the past 100 years, the average global temperature has risen by 0.74 °C. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it makes a big difference to the planet. The year 2016 was the hottest since temperature records began! What’s worse is that the trend seems to be speeding up. Scientists estimate a temperature increase of 2-4 °C by the end of the 21st century.
Why is this happening, and why is it bad? When we burn fossil fuels like oil, carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the air. CO2 stops heat escaping from the earth, creating a “greenhouse effect.” As the temperature increases, ice melts more quickly and water levels rise. Natural disasters such as forest fires and floods are more likely. Climate change puts people, animals, and the environment at risk.
But one company is working to help solve the problem of CO2. Climeworks, in Switzerland, has developed filter technology to extract CO2 from the air. The machine is the brainchild of engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher. They were just students when they thought of the idea. It took them nine years to make their dream become a reality.
Gebald and Wurzbacher say the machine can remove 900 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. It can then be sold as a fertilizer, or used to make carbonated drinks and biofuels, which unlike fossil fuels, do not add to the greenhouse effect. Right now, Climeworks is a three-year demonstration project, but the pair hopes that similar systems will soon operate all over the world.
Another company, Studio Roosegaarde in the Netherlands, recently presented a bicycle that cleans the air! As the user cycles, dirty air is sucked into a filter and clean air is released. Atmospheric CO2 is an urgent problem that requires creative design. Hopefully, it is not too late for “green” businesses like these to slow down climate change.
過去一百多年以來，全球均溫已上升攝氏0.74度。聽起來不高，卻會對地球造成很大的影響。自有記錄以來，2016 年的溫度已創下歷年新高！更糟糕的是，這樣的情況正加速惡化中。科學家預測21 世紀末的溫度將增加攝氏2到4度。
不過，一家公司正積極解決二氧化碳的問題。在瑞士的Climeworks 公司研發出能夠提取空氣中所含二氧化碳的過濾科技。此機器為工程師克里斯多夫‧ 吉伯德與詹‧ 沃巴赫的心血結晶。他們在學生時代就有此發想，費時九年才得以實現夢想。
另一家位於荷蘭的 Studio Roosegaarde 公司，近期推出一款能淨化空氣的自行車！大家騎乘此款自行車時，濾器會吸入髒空氣，再釋放出淨化後的空氣。大氣中的二氧化碳是一個極需創意概念來解決的問題。希望諸如此類的「綠化」事業，在減緩氣候變遷速度方面猶未晚矣。