PowerSwitch Main Page
PowerSwitch
The UK's Peak Oil Discussion Forum & Community
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

CO2 Watch
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> Climate Change
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 9820
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
...
Headline from Sydney Morning Herald.
Global warming milestone about to be passed and there's no going back
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/global-warming-milestone-about-to-be-passed-and-theres-no-going-back-20160509-goqcm0.html#ixzz48NZb02BL


There would need to be a massive effort put into carbon sequestration to replace carbon in the soil to get the CO2 concentration down again. A big push towards incorporating biochar into our soils has been muted as one option which would simultaneously improve our much depleted soils.
_________________
"When the last tree is cut down, and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find out that you cannot eat money". --The Cree Indians
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 3379

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would involve turning much vegetation into charcoal, would it not? That seems to be somewhat heaping fuel on the fire.
There is no chance of a deliberate human input making any difference in respect of lowering the CO2 level. The system will change to catastrophically lower the human population, then, in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years there is a chance that CO2 levels will reduce. Or maybe a new system will evolve that tolerates high CO2.
It was known that humans were damaaging the soil more than 100 years ago, and instead of doing anything about it, the Western European line has continued to cause, (and increase the causes of), damage, purely in the interests of money.
_________________
If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while you count your money.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 9820
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Making biochar involves turning agricultural wastes into charcoal by heating it using a small amount of energy to drive off volatiles. These volatiles are collected and used to heat further batches and some can be turned in biodiesel. The charcoal is returned to the earth where it will last thousands of years. If the agricultural wastes were composted and returned to the earth the unstable form of carbon produced by composting would be oxidised to carbon dioxide in a few tens of years.

The biochar acts to retain any nutrients, such as nitrogen washed out of the atmosphere by rain, and make them available to soil fungi. The biochar keeps soil fertile for millennia by holding the soil nutrients in its pores whereas composted carbon only acts over a few years.
_________________
"When the last tree is cut down, and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find out that you cannot eat money". --The Cree Indians
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 242
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:

There would need to be a massive effort put into carbon sequestration to replace carbon in the soil to get the CO2 concentration down again. A big push towards incorporating biochar into our soils has been muted as one option which would simultaneously improve our much depleted soils.

This would be particularly appropriate in a country like Australia where a lot of vegetation can be lost through bushfires and the soils are already depleted in carbon.

I did it a little myself when I would but the charcoal from the ash on my wood fire on the garden. Mostly however I mulch the grass and hedge clippings and other organic garden waste. I am amazed by the amount of garden waste that people in Australia put into the non-recycle bin. But that's for another topic.
_________________
G'Day cobber!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 3379

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turning the agricultural "wastes" into charcoal is effectively damaging the soil. Soil consists of humus - live substances, not just chemicals, but those agricultural wastes if they were allowed to decompose. Then you need loads of the wastes produced by animals, and the bodies of animals to provide nutrients. Charcoal may have some benefits, but only in addition to what should be in the soil in the first place. As for sequestering carbon, think of the volume of oil (carbon) and coal (carbon) that has come out of the ground. Now add to that what is still coming out of the ground. Fortunately you only have to think about the portion that was burnt. Now think of the absolutely gigantic pile of carbon you will have to generate to shove in the ground to equal that burnt portion. It's only going to happen in pipe dreams because most people don't give a stuff.

The soil in every agricultural area is severely depleteted of nutrients, (and of course further damaged by pesticides and herbicides). For further information see "Deserts on the March" by Paul Sears.

(If I mention these books often enough someone might read them with any luck.
_________________
If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while you count your money.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 242
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are right that you need the humus there first. There is an area of Australia called Cape York which is about the same size as the UK and has a population of 18,000 for a reason. It is not a desert but is in the tropics and subject to what is called 'soil laterisation' where the nutrients are washed out the soil. Note it has relatively high rainfall over a metre a year. basically stuff there just wont grow well because of the lack of nutrients in the soil but there is enough rain and it is well vegetated if you see it from the air. I think the tropical rain forest is another place where this happens.

I think what Ken is getting at is that the biochar will help keep the nutrients in the soil. I think that biochar is much more appropriate for tropical areas subject to laterisation that temperate areas.

See this link for more info on Cape York https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_York_Peninsula#Soil
_________________
G'Day cobber!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 3379

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The charcoal will give a place for the soil wildlife to inhabit, but the important things in the soil are also the minerals, (micronutrients). This subject is hugely complex, hence my suggestions of suitable reading matter. Australia gets a mention as cattle and sheep have done the place no favours to name but two.
_________________
If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while you count your money.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 18551
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
Turning the agricultural "wastes" into charcoal is effectively damaging the soil.


No! You really ought to read up about bio-char. And it's not some new-fangled invention. It's been a feature of tropical rainforest management for thousands of years.
_________________
http://biffvernon.blogspot.co.uk/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 3379

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thousands of years ago is not really relevant to today's situation since it has apparently escaped your notice that today's population is a tad higher than it was then.

In any case, this so called "biochar" is more a modern mantra than an ancient "management" method. The Mayas for example, as far as is understood, burnt a patch of forest. This cleared the land and the nutrient released in the ash provided reasonable crops for a few years, before cropping dwindled and they abandoned it and moved on to a new patch to burn. After burning, charcoal was left behind, I think as a by product, not as a primary input. This process continued over an increasing area until the system broke down and the Mayan civilisation collapsed. The do-nothing approach to restoring the soil did nothing to restore fertility, just as it doesn't today. The only reason most agriculture areas produce today is because of the prolific quantities of artificial fertiliser. Soil has to be built over centuries, not to be confused by propping up with a packet of miracle grow.

With or without charcoal, agriculture has been demonstrated time and again to be unsustainable.

You really ought to read about soil depletion.

Anyway, you'd better stop this or the mods will delete the posts for being off topic.
_________________
If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while you count your money.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 9820
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is evidence of a huge population in the A-m-a-z-o-n basin prior to the Spanish and Portuguese invasions. The population largely died off due to disease and left behind large areas of Terra Preta soils up to two metres deep in places. These are carbon rich soils, with up to 25% carbon, which are cultivated continuously not, like the slash and burn technique, for just a few years. The soils had large quantities of carbon added, more than can be explained by slash and burning.

The carbon in the Terra Preta soils holds onto nutrients in the soils in the same manner as activated carbon in a gas mask holds onto poison gas; it locks it into its convoluted surface by atomic attraction of the molecules. The nutrients are subsequently extracted by mycorrhizal fungi and made available to their associated plants. The soils will crop for many years with the addition of only minimal additional nutrients because of the very high retention level by the carbon of those nutrients.

Please google Terra Preta and see some of the modern research into these soils. That research has shown that millions of tonnes of carbon could be sequestered into the soil every year for decades and could enable us to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere over that period, theoretically, while improving soil quality, producing some biodiesel and reducing the amount of gas used to manufacture fertilizer. All that is required is the political will.
_________________
"When the last tree is cut down, and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find out that you cannot eat money". --The Cree Indians
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 3379

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no political will, and there won't be since the system is run for the benefit of the few and is interested only in the short term.

Soil recovery will take centuries, and the degrading is still going on apace, with the Indonesian (and others) smoke signals telling you they have no interest in other than slash and burn techniques. Other areas clear fell the hills, and then the rest of the world (the bits that can see televisions) wring their hands when they are presented with pictures of the local populations being killed by the ensuing floods and mud slides when the rains arrive.

Please google soil depletion.
_________________
If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while you count your money.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 18551
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
There is no political will...
because too many of the electorate don't/won't/can't understand the science and insist that politicians use evidence based policies.
_________________
http://biffvernon.blogspot.co.uk/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 3379

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is just what politicians today DON'T do.
_________________
If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while you count your money.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 9820
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The climate and environment don't exist for most politicians because their constituents don't write to them about these subjects. People on this board are constituents of an MP but how many of you write regularly to that MP to remind them of the latest science or pick over the latest change in policy. You're all too willing to pick a fight here, where we're mostly agreed on the science, but why the f**k are you too bloody lazy to get on at your MP, someone who needs to be got at!! Are you frightened of your MP?

Once their email address in your address book it only takes the same time to write them a short letter as it does to write a post on here, and we get enough posts on here to bombard the whole House of Commons for a year. I've asked before, many times, and I'll ask again but please write to your MP, and a Minister, when you see them ignoring the science or calling it into question instead of bleating to the rest of us on this forum and, quite frankly, wasting your time on us instead of being useful and knocking some sense into your MP.
_________________
"When the last tree is cut down, and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find out that you cannot eat money". --The Cree Indians


Last edited by kenneal - lagger on Sun May 15, 2016 4:54 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 595
Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Tory MP lives in a house so posh it was built by a bloke with the same name 500 years earlier. He is something to do with making weapons to kill brown people. People who have met him say he is very nice.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> Climate Change All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 2 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group