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Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?

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Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?

CO2 could soon reach levels that, it’s widely agreed, will lead to catastrophe.

The New Yorker,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Rising CO2 levels will soon lead to “catastrophic” climate change. Can removing it avert disaster?

Editorial Rating



  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening
  • Hot Topic


CO­2 levels have reached a record high and could lead to disastrous climate change if left unchecked. Besides reducing emissions, it has now become necessary to remove the CO­2 already in the atmosphere. New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert gives an informative and cautionary look at two technologies for CO­2 removal, some of the major parties involved, and the challenges facing the technologies’ widespread application. getAbstract recommends this article to those who are interested in cutting-edge, world-saving technologies and who enjoy moderate weather.


The process of “negative emissions” subtracts CO2 from the atmosphere, and is a way to limit the rise of global temperatures.

“Negative emissions” refers to the technologies that can limit rising global temperatures by removing CO­2 from the atmosphere. The idea comes from German physicist Klaus Lackner, who founded and now runs the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University.  

Direct air capture is a technology that removes COdirectly from the air.

Direct air capture technology takes CO­2 directly from the air and turns it into calcium carbonate. As this technology targets CO­2 in ambient ...

About the Author

Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer for The New Yorker and an author. She won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.

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