An interesting experiment is taking place in a Staffordshire forest. An area of the woodland has been cordoned off and the trees within the site are being subjected to high levels of carbon dioxide. The project has been set up to measure how trees will deal with the higher levels of CO2 in that are expected in the future.
Scientists in the US have found a way of converting carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into a fuel in the same way that plant use enzymes to convert CO2 into sugars during photosynthesis. The researchers used a metal compound catalyst to convert CO2 into carbon monoxide, which can then be synthesized to methanol.
CO2 levels are predicted to be above 400 parts per million for the present year. Apart from human intervention, the recent increase in levels is as a result of El Niño. This climate phenomenon has warmed and dried the tropics, which has resulted in less photosynthesis and forest fires. The last time carbon dioxide levels were regularly above 400ppm was three to five million years ago.