Director of the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) Somnath Mishra has said that new ideas and ways to tackle problems of climate change are taking shape.

Delivering the keynote address on “Emerging solutions to combat climate change”, on the occasion of the Engineers’ Day celebrations here on Saturday, Prof. Mishra said global warning was a very important global issue. The language of climate change too was witnessing a sense of dynamism with many words being used to refer to various aspects of this issue. Some of the underlying principles were, however, that of sustainability and environmental welfare.

New approaches were being created to help reduce the “carbon footprint”, as well as to improve the quality of life. Simplification of lifestyles was another important concept that was being stressed upon. The energy sector was one of the major contributors to the global warming process. A New Energy Congress had been constituted in the U.S. to keep abreast of leading developments in the field and bring them to the attention of the people in an effort to address this issue.

New methods of energy-conservation and renewal would emerge in the future, he said and added that cost-effectiveness was an important idea that was now in focus. There were thousands of proven methods for significantly increasing fuel economy and decreasing emissions, which were being implemented at the grassroots level. The automotive industry should try and incorporate them, he added.

The shift towards hybrid and all-electric vehicles should also be encouraged and supported. These vehicles could be powered by renewable energy sources. Over 100 such energy technologies had been identified, he said.

Some revolutionary concepts were also being formulated and studied such as deployment of a few thousand satellites with reflectors that had solar cells, in orbit. These cells would absorb solar energy, generate electricity and send it to Earth. Some other thoughts included creation of volcanoes to produce gases needed to absorb carbon dioxide; using seawater to create artificial clouds to reduce warming; producing hydrochloric acid from seawater and using it to dissolve rocks, which in turn would absorb carbon dioxide, and forestation to absorb carbon dioxide.

The underlying aim was to become carbon-neutral; reduce the use of energy and substances that caused environmental degradation; purifying water and giving it back to nature; replacing trees felled and using sustainable technologies, Prof. Mishra said.

Associate Director of MIT Jagannath K. welcomed the gathering.