CO2 disposal - seeking a way out of the greenhouse

In the recent brouhaha over the future of the UK's energy policy, the longer-term implications for the nation's emissions of carbon dioxide have been pushed firmly to the bottom of the agenda. But if the risk of significant global warming is to be avoided, swingeing emission cuts will be needed in the not too distant future. Much of the scientific effort to date has been directed at capturing CO2 emissions at source and finding disposal routes for huge volumes of the gas - though concern is growing that such technical fixes may divert resources away from the development of other solutions.

There is now a widespread consensus among climatologists that global warming is a real threat. Last year was the tenth warmest on record, though the mean global surface temperature fell by 0.2° C from the record levels of 1990 and 1991. The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit pins this hiccup in the rising trend on the cooling effect of the huge volcanic eruption at Mount Pinatubo in 1991, together with the end of the El Nin

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