For carbon sequestration to work, containers need to leak less than 1% per millennium

Carbon sequestration — pumping the carbon emitted by coal and other "dirty" power plants underground — is an attractively macho, big-engineering style solution to climate change. Rather than developing new kinds of power (which might favor new companies and regions) or new patterns of use (which might require effort on the part of individuals), we simply contract with firms who take all our carbon and lock it away underground for millennia. What could be simpler?

Carbon dioxide sequestration isn't a great global warming solution unless we develop less leaky equipment or commit to regular re-sequestering, according to a paper published in Nature Geoscience. If the containers used don't leak less than one percent every thousand years, atmospheric carbon would have to be monitored carefully and resequestered on a regular basis over tens of thousands of years in order to match the effects of reducing carbon emissions. Otherwise, sequestration would only slow the warming, not stop it.

Carbon sequestration too leaky to stop global warming