Hey there and welcome to Life Noggin! Right now we are living in a dangerous time where many powerful political leaders don’t believe that climate change is caused by human activity. However, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is very likely that most of the increase in global temperatures since the mid-20th century is caused by the human-related increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. And if we keep emitting more of these gases, the effects of global warming will continue and may even worsen. But there /are/ ways to help prevent this from happening — including some cool innovations and simple things you can do yourself. To start, let’s talk about one of my favorite topics: gassy cows. See, as part of their digestive process, cattle produce a lot of gas — including a particular greenhouse gas called methane. This gas is emitted by natural sources like wetlands, but is also emitted by human activities like coal mining, landfills, and raising livestock.
And even though it doesn’t last as long in the atmosphere compared to carbon dioxide, it’s much better at trapping heat. That really makes burping and farting cows seem a lot less funny, doesn’t it? But anyway, to prevent all this methane from getting into the atmosphere, researchers at Argentina’s National Institute of Agricultural Technology developed an…interesting accessory. Meet the inflatable backpack — the hottest new trend of the season. Basically, this inflatable bag is connected to a tube running to the cows’ stomachs, which collects the gas the cows emits, which fills the bag. It’s kind of adorable in a weird, weird way… But it’s also really useful because the researchers found that the cows emitted a few hundred liters of methane every day, which can later be reused for other purposes. Go Argentina! Another awesome innovation involves turning the carbon dioxide gas into a common household item — baking soda! So get out your whisks and aprons, folks, because helping the planet is about to get a whole lot tastier! A firm called Carbon Clean Solutions is currently working with a chemical plant in India to strip carbon dioxide gas from the plant’s flue gas.
The chemical they use to do this is apparently less corrosive, less expensive, and more efficient than other chemicals that do the same thing. And even more, Carbon Clean Solutions estimates that they can capture around 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Previously, a process called carbon capture and storage was used where carbon dioxide is captured from power plants or industrial processes, transported, and stored in deep underground rock formations. However, this process is far from perfect and likely more expensive than it will be to turn the gas into baking soda instead. But even with these two innovations, there’s still a lot left to do. And eventually, we’ll have to stop burning fossil fuels and switch to renewable, clean energy. This will be a long process, but there’s still some simple things that you can do now to help. One is to drive less, take more public transportation, or just walk or bike places. Another is to turn off lights and unplug your electronics and maybe even invest in solar panels for your house.
We need to start saving our planet and every little effort will help. What do you do to help the planet? Let us know in the comments below. If you ever want to know what happens when a planet dies, make sure to check out this video. Make sure you come back every Monday for a brand new video. As always, I’m Blocko and this has been Life Noggin. Don’t forget to keep on thinking!.