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Storing carbon dioxide underground may be feasible for helping achieve climate goals

May 22, 2020 By Kelly April Tyrrell

A new study led by University of Wisconsin–Madison geoscience professor Christopher Zahasky shows that underground reservoirs currently have capacity to store enough atmospheric carbon dioxide to limit planetary warming to under two degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit) relative to pre-Industrial temperatures by the year 2100.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, capturing and storing carbon dioxide underground is one of several strategies that shows promise for mitigating the effects of climate change.

Zahasky, who recently joined the UW–Madison faculty, started the work while a researcher at Imperial College London. He published the study with colleagues on May 21, 2020 in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

“Nearly all IPCC pathways to limit warming to 2 deg C require tens of gigatons of carbon dioxide stored per year by mid-century,” Zahasky says in a news release published by Imperial. “However, until now, we didn’t know if these targets were achievable given historic data, or how these targets related to sub-surface storage space requirements.”

Read more about the study here: