What is ‘soil carbon’, and why are we hoping it will mitigate climate change?

A major part of the federal government’s net zero plan is soil carbon sequestration. What is soil carbon, and can it really live up to the hype? What is soil carbon? Soil carbon is, in a sense, exactly what it says on the tin: the element carbon, stored in soils. “Carbon is a critical part … Continue reading What is ‘soil carbon’, and why are we hoping it will mitigate climate change?

Aussie students excel at the XPRIZE

The Musk Foundation’s XPRIZE has just announced the winners of the Carbon Removal Student Competition, and three Australian universities have made the cut. The XPRIZE challenges teams from across the world to come up with solutions to the major problems facing our planet. The US$100 Million Carbon Removal prize tackles greenhouse gas emissions, asking teams … Continue reading Aussie students excel at the XPRIZE

The great carbon capture and storage debate: can Santos make it work?

This article on Santos’ carbon capture and storage project first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 22 October 2021. When Sylvia Little fried her eggs at her Adelaide home one November morning in 1969, she became Santos’s first customer for natural gas from Moomba, 800 kilometres north in the Strzelecki Desert. Today, in subterranean reservoirs depleted … Continue reading The great carbon capture and storage debate: can Santos make it work?

What’s at stake at COP26? Your climate primer

This weekend, world leaders will meet in Glasgow to discuss the acute social, scientific and economic challenge we face. With so much information flying past, it’s easy to lose track of the science and technology. What’s our current trajectory? Could we suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere? Why is everyone so interested in hydrogen … Continue reading What’s at stake at COP26? Your climate primer

Out of thin air: direct carbon capture is on the horizon

An Australian company could be selling modules that suck carbon dioxide directly from the air as early as next year, but it will be up to the highest bidder to decide what happens to that CO2 once it’s been captured. Melbourne-based Southern Green Gas (SGG) has just announced a partnership with Swiss Re, a multinational … Continue reading Out of thin air: direct carbon capture is on the horizon

How are we doing? Corporate Australia’s zero-emissions report card

The report cards are in. Corporate Australia has been marked on how it’s progressing towards net zero emissions, and many of the results are surprising – both surprisingly good and bad. Our resources sector is progressing well, but the transport and energy sectors aren’t on target. Wei Sue, System Lead of Sustainable Corporates at ClimateWorks … Continue reading How are we doing? Corporate Australia’s zero-emissions report card

Tech alone cannot solve climate crisis

An international team of scientists says that we cannot rely on technology to meet climate targets – instead, wealthy countries must change their lifestyles to dramatically reduce emissions and avoid climate breakdown. The new article, published in Nature Energy, calls for the urgent development of new climate models that explore ways economies can remain stable … Continue reading Tech alone cannot solve climate crisis

Gorgon’s carbon capture shortfall

The self-described “world’s largest carbon capture and storage project” hasn’t captured enough carbon to meet its goals. The Gorgon LNG Project, a large-scale gas-mining project off the West Australian coast, has not been able to capture 80% of the carbon dioxide it has emitted over the past five years – a target on which its initial state government … Continue reading Gorgon’s carbon capture shortfall

We need a carbon-removal industry – should polluting companies pay for it?

Carbon removal technology is still in its nascency, with much work and money required before greenhouse gases can be taken from the atmosphere. But it is critical if Paris Agreement targets in 2050 are to be met. Two studies published overnight have highlighted the need for widescale investment in carbon removal, also referred to as … Continue reading We need a carbon-removal industry – should polluting companies pay for it?

Cleaning up the greenhouse

To stave off dangerous levels of global warming in the next 80 years, scientists warn, it won’t be enough just to reduce today’s levels of greenhouse gas emissions, or even cut them to zero. Instead, says climate scientist Bill Collins of America’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (‘Berkeley Lab’), we will eventually need to start removing … Continue reading Cleaning up the greenhouse

A new carbon capture catalyst

Chemists have suggested a new method for turning carbon dioxide into methanol using a special catalyst – a technique that could be useful in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, transforming it for further use. Key research points Carbon capture and storage could be achieved using carbon dioxide and hydrogen to make methanol, which can be used … Continue reading A new carbon capture catalyst

Restore ecosystems to prevent extinctions

Restoring just under a third of Earth’s ecosystems to their natural state could protect more than two-thirds of land-based mammals, amphibians and birds at risk of extinction while soaking up 465 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to a new report. Published in the journal Nature by an international team of scientists from 12 countries, … Continue reading Restore ecosystems to prevent extinctions