Dr. Maria-Elena Vorrath

Brave New World?

Evading the Climate Crisis with Climate Engineering?

Vortrag Talks & Workshops Social/Urban Movements

The climate crisis escalates, global warming at about 1,5°C has arrived, and it burns, burns, burns. While the remaining CO2 budget to adhere to the 2°C barrier dwindles faster than ever before, the cry for simple technology-based solutions rises. A global climate cooling through climate engineering is willingly touted as a universal solution by politics. But are we really able to simply vacuum the CO2 we emit from the air, saving the climate with so-called “negative emissions”? Dr Maria-Elena Vorrath researches rock weathering and plant carbons, two methods that withdraw CO2 from the atmosphere, at Hamburg University. In her lecture, she will explain negative emissions, their global potential, and the current state of research. And there are memes.
Climate engineering describes human intervention via technologies to manipulate the global climate system. Thanks to Hollywood films and dangerous superficial knowledge, we are aware of the doomsday scenarios surrounding the topic, yet we barely know how photosynthesis and rock weathering may actually aid us in achieving our climate goals. To most people, it is news that stones can draw CO2 from the air, storing it for millions of years. In her lecture, Dr Maria-Elena Vorrath elucidates on why CO2 withdrawal from the atmosphere (“negative emissions”) is a crucial element of the so-called “Net Zero” climate strategy, and in what forms it can be implemented. She reports on her current research in which she examines rock flour and plant carbons as soil improvement and for CO2 withdrawal in agriculture.


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