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Increased carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are thought to exacerbate the heating effects of the Greenhouse Effect, and therefore, increasing the temperature of the earth's surface. This heightened temperature may introduce a de-stabilizing influence on the atmosphere and potentially drastically affect global weather patterns and eventually cause long-term climate change. The burning of fossil fuels currently produces globally around 21 billion tons of CO2 per year, but it is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, so there is a net increase of about 10.5 billion tones of atmospheric CO2 per year. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an approach to mitigating the contribution of fossil fuel emissions to global warming, based on capturing CO2 from "large point sources" such as coal-fired power plants, steelworks, refineries, etc. CCS applied to a modern conventional power plant could reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by approximately 80-90% compared to a plant without CCS.
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