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Friday, May 16, 2008

Global Warming Solution: Landfill Forests?

Graphic illustrating how burying forests might take carbon out of the atmosphere to solve global warming.
Photo: Wiley-VCH 2008

The whole problem with global warming starts with digging up and burning the carbon from plants and animals, in the form of coal and oil, that has been buried for millions of years.

So two German scientists have a solution: Start burying stuff on a massive scale.

The scientists, Fritz Scholz and Ulrich Hasse from the University of Greifswald, start with a common idea: Planting forests, which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But instead of letting those trees stand (or worse burning or letting them decay so that the carbon is released to the atmosphere) the scientists have a novel suggestion. Landfill them.

By burying the trees from those deliberately planted forests, the scientists believe they might blunt the impact of global warming, or even negate all global emissions.

“For the first time, humankind will give something back to nature that we have taken away before,” says Scholz. “Whereas other environmental problems can, at least in principle, be solved by the appropriate modern technology, there are no realistic solutions for the CO2 problem.”

Disturbing soil, though, as analyses of farming and suburban sprawl have demonstrated over and over again, also releases carbon. To avoid this, the scientists suggest using old mines for their forest landfills.

One little problem with this miracle solution: The world would have to plant 3.8 million square miles of forest every year to counteract current global carbon dioxide emissions. That's bigger than the size of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). And the scientists themselves point out that it's equivalent to all virgin forests lost in the 20th century.

That's also a lot of tree landfill space.

Original here


1 comment:

Erich J. Knight said...

Why go to the expence to bury Biomass when closed-Loop Pyrolysis gives you so much more?
I hope you will come to share my passion in getting the word out on
the wonderful solutions provided by TP soils.
I'm sort of the TP list cub reporter, most all my list postings, under
shengar@aol.com, are news items, collaborative work, lobbying efforts with
government, writers and journals.

If you have any other questions please feel free to call me or visit the TP
web site I've been drafted to co-administer.
http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/?q=node

It has been immensely gratifying to see all the major players join the mail
list , Cornell folks, T. Beer of Kings Ford Charcoal (Clorox), Novozyne the
M-Roots guys(fungus), chemical engineers, Dr. Danny Day of EPRIDA , Dr.
Antal of U. of H., Virginia Tech folks and probably many others who's back
round I don't know have joined.

Bellow are my collected stories and links that I promiscuously post to
anyone who has an iron in this fire.

Thanks for your interest

Cheers,
Erich


the current news and links on Terra Preta (TP) soils and closed-loop
pyrolysis of Biomass, this integrated virtuous cycle could sequester 100s
of Billions of tons of carbon to the soils.

This technology represents the most comprehensive, low cost, and
productive approach to long term stewardship and sustainability.Terra Preta
Soils a process for Carbon Negative Bio fuels, massive Carbon
sequestration, 1/3 Lower CH4 & N2O soil emissions, and 3X Fertility Too.


UN Climate Change Conference: Biochar present at the Bali Conference

http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/steinerbalinov2107



SCIAM Article May 15 07;

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=5670236C-E7F2-99DF-3E2163B9FB144E40




After many years of reviewing solutions to anthropogenic global warming
(AGW) I believe this technology can manage Carbon for the greatest
collective benefit at the lowest economic price, on vast scales. It just
needs to be seen by ethical globally minded companies.

Could you please consider looking for a champion for this orphaned Terra
Preta Carbon Soil Technology.

The main hurtle now is to change the current perspective held by the IPCC
that the soil carbon cycle is a wash, to one in which soil can be used as a
massive and ubiquitous Carbon sink via Charcoal. Below are the first
concrete steps in that direction;

S.1884 â€" The Salazar Harvesting Energy Act of 2007

A Summary of Biochar Provisions in S.1884:

Carbon-Negative Biomass Energy and Soil Quality Initiative

for the 2007 Farm Bill

http://www.biochar-international.org/newinformationevents/newlegislation.html




Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.
Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Biomass by 2030by Ralph P.
Overend, Ph.D. and Anelia Milbrandt
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

http://www.ases.org/climatechange/toc/07_biomass.pdf

The organization 25x25 released it's (first-ever, 55-page )"Action Plan" ;
see;
http://www.25x25.org/storage/25x25/documents/IP%20Documents/ActionPlanFinalWEB_04-19-07.pdf

On page 29 , as one of four foci for recommended RD&D, the plan lists: "The
development of biochar, animal agriculture residues and other non-fossil
fuel based fertilizers, toward the end of integrating energy production
with enhanced soil quality and carbon sequestration."
and on p 32, recommended as part of an expanded database aspect of
infrastructure: "Information on the application of carbon as fertilizer and
existing carbon credit trading systems."

I feel 25x25 is now the premier US advocacy organization for all forms of
renewable energy, but way out in front on biomass topics.



There are 24 billion tons of carbon controlled by man in his agriculture
and waste stream, all that farm & cellulose waste which is now dumped to
rot or digested or combusted and ultimately returned to the atmosphere as
GHG should be returned to the Soil.

Even with all the big corporations coming to the GHG negotiation table,
like Exxon, Alcoa, .etc, we still need to keep watch as they try to
influence how carbon management is legislated in the USA. Carbon must have
a fair price, that fair price and the changes in the view of how the soil
carbon cycle now can be used as a massive sink verses it now being viewed
as a wash, will be of particular value to farmers and a global cool breath
of fresh air for us all.





Also Here is the Latest BIG Terra Preta Soil news;

The Honolulu Advertiser: "The nation's leading manufacturer of charcoal
has licensed a University of Hawai'i process for turning green waste into
barbecue briquets."

See: http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/antalkingsford

ConocoPhillips Establishes $22.5 Million Pyrolysis Program at Iowa State

http://www.conocophillips.com/newsroom/news_releases/2007news/04-10-2007.htm


Glomalin, the recently discovered soil protien, may be the secret to to TP
soils productivity;

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2003/030205.htm

Mycorrhizae Inoculent;

http://www.mycorrhizae.com/


The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) conference held at Terrigal,
NSW, Australia in 2007. The papers from this conference are posted at
their home page; http://www.biochar-international.org/home.html