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A Proverbial "Carbon Sink" to Help Explain Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

Carbon dioxide removal (“CDR”) — or removing carbon from the atmosphere with “negative emission technologies” — can seem like a complex and confusing topic when explained in the academic language common among many of the field’s proponents. But the reasons why CDR is important in the fight against climate change are actually fairly simple. To illustrate the need for CDR, I’ve drawn up a series of basic carbon dioxide removal infographics using a “carbon sink” as an analog to the Earth’s atmosphere:

The Earth's atmosphere as a carbon sink infographic

Humans are filling the Earth's carbon sink faster than it can drain infographic

Humans risk overflowing the Earth's carbon sink and causing dangerous climate change infographic Carbon dioxide removal technologies can help drain the Earth's carbon sink and prevent climate change infographic

Hat tip: MS Paint

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