Climate change impacts everyone on a global scale. We’re talking about impacts like rising sea levels and more frequent and severe natural disasters. Another negative impact of climate change includes rising temperatures that are causing droughts, wildfires, and crop failures.

Still, there’s hope because we can mitigate and even reverse some of the effects of climate change with new technologies if we work together. Below are a few ways how.

Can We Engineer Our Way Out of Climate Change?

Harvard University reports engineering strategies, including solar radiation management, carbon dioxide removal, and ocean fertilization, that can help combat climate change. Many of these solutions are worth considering, especially when you think about the “widespread and rapid” changes in climate that are actively happening each day.

These proposed approaches show promise. But they don’t come without risks. Some strategies could have unintended consequences, such as disrupting local weather patterns or ecosystems. There are also concerns about ethical and governance issues with a few of these strategies, like who would be responsible for implementing and regulating these large-scale interventions.

Carbon Capture and Storage

Ambient carbon capture removes carbon dioxide from the air. According to the IEA, once captured, the CO2 can be stored either geologically or biologically. One of the most common methods is called Direct Air Capture (DAC), which uses large machines to suck in air and filter out CO2. Once that’s captured, it can be stored underground or used in other applications.

Ambient carbon capture technology shows promise, but it also has some downsides. The main issue is how much energy it takes to run these machines. This demand could increase greenhouse gas emissions, especially if the electricity to run them comes from fossil fuels.

Another challenge is the cost of scaling up ambient carbon capture. In order to make a significant impact on reducing global carbon emissions, we’d have to scale the operation up considerably.

Despite these challenges, with continued advancements in technology and investments in research and development, ambient carbon capture could become the answer one day.

Ocean Fertilization

Ocean fertilization involves adding nutrients to the sea to stimulate the growth of phytoplankton — microscopic plants that are vital to the health of the water and the life that inhabits it. This process can also benefit us, as it can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.

Ocean fertilization sounds promising, but there are some potential unknowns and drawbacks associated with it. One concern is the potential for unintended consequences like altering ocean ecosystems or creating harmful algal blooms. Then there’s the effectiveness and feasibility of this technique on a large scale to consider, not to mention the cost and logistics of implementing it.

Coral Reef Cooling

Coral reefs are threatened by both ocean warming and acidification. This can lead to coral bleaching and ultimately the death of entire reef ecosystems.

But there are technologies being developed that can help cool the reefs and prevent further damage. One such technology involves pumping cooler water from deeper in the ocean to the surface, effectively creating a “refrigeration system” for the reefs.

Another approach is to use shading structures that’ll help reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the reefs and help prevent the warming that causes bleaching. These solutions are still in the early stages of development, but they offer hope for preserving coral reefs and the important ecosystems they support.

Cultured Meat Products

Surprisingly, changing the way we handle livestock farming can impact climate change. Livestock farming of cattle has been proven to have a significant environmental impact on things like greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water pollution, and even deforestation. However, there is an emerging technology in the form of lab-grown meat.

This alternative to meat involves growing muscle tissue from animal cells in a lab and could reduce the need for livestock farming and its associated environmental problems. On top of the environmental benefits, lab-grown meat could offer a more ethical alternative to traditional meat production because it doesn’t involve raising animals for slaughter.

Atmospheric Sun Shading

Solar geoengineering is a technology that reflects the sun’s energy back into space. In theory, this could help mitigate global warming. One way we can try this solution out is by using reflective particles or aerosols to create a “sunshade.” Like standing in the shade to avoid a sunburn on our skin, this would reduce the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface.

The idea behind solar geoengineering is to counteract the warming effect caused by greenhouse gases by reflecting some of the incoming solar radiation back into space. While solar geoengineering may sound appealing, one study demonstrates how a “sunshade” could interfere with precipitation patterns.

Space-based Solar Power

Space-based solar power involves placing solar panels in space to collect solar energy and transmit it back to Earth via microwave or laser beams (via This innovative type of solar power plant could potentially provide a consistent source of renewable energy. explains how it works: place large solar panels in orbit around the Earth and use microwave or laser beams to transmit the collected energy back to receiving stations on the ground. This could be useful in areas where traditional solar power plants aren’t feasible. But there are some potential drawbacks, like the cost of launching and maintaining the solar panels in space, plus the impact on wildlife and the environment. There is also the risk of accidentally transmitting the beams to unintended targets.

Distributed Renewable Energy

Distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar power plants and wind turbines are not a new solution to climate change. But we’ve come a long way in terms of the technological advances, which have made DERs more efficient and affordable.

According to, on-site solar generation is becoming more feasible for residences, businesses, and even agriculture. Using rooftop solar panels on our homes and businesses can reduce energy costs. In some cases, these solutions can generate income by selling excess energy back to the grid. Using a ground mount can also increase land use efficiency and reduce water usage.

Distributed energy could also make the electric grid more resilient and reliable. However, there are some possible downsides to consider, like DERs possibly leading to an increase in utility bills or the environmental impact of manufacturing and disposing of solar panels and wind turbines.

Clean Energy Is the Key

No climate reversal solution will be sustainable without simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As such, both should be part of whatever long-term solutions we go after. Burning fossil fuels, manufacturing emissions, and even cloud computing are only a few things contributing to climate change.

At this point, relying on technology might slow down the rate of warming. But we need to think about the long-term, too, because technology can’t be a replacement for the reduction of carbon emissions.

Instead, we should focus on pursuing widespread green energy solutions while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As more people and businesses adopt green energy, we’ll be able to create an economic incentive leading to further innovation and progress toward a sustainable future.