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Biological Sequestration, Can soils sequester more carbon then trees?

 
kane Abbott
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Hey everyone ,
recently read this article by Dr Christine Jones, explaning that soils are more effective at carbon sequestion then trees , though this can not be achived with modern chemical farming.
Would love to know your thoughts on this, as i found it fascinating and not not surprising that the discovery didnt re-write our approach to agriculture and the like.
Soulable carbon pathways in soils are a natural process that has been creating and forming top soil for millions of years , yet the science remands disputed due to opposing gender based scientist.
The Article is a must to read......
http://www.fromthesoilup.com.au/news/liquid-carbon-pathway-unrecognised
 
Jonathan Byron
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Yes, soils are one place that carbon can be stored. Depends on drainage, oxygen levels in the soil, productivity, etc. In tropical rainforests, the soils typically do not store much carbon, it is in the trees. But in a prairie, there is far more in the soil than in the grasses or scrub vegetation.

And biochar is another option - the heat changes wood carbon and make it more resistant to breakdown by microbes in the soil, half of the wood is lost (but produces heat when charred) and what is left lasts much longer than a plain piece of wood that falls to the ground.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Jonathan has it.  It's that old permie truism: it depends. Here in Florida, unattached organic matter just washes away through the sand.  Much better off with a forest canopy, that keeps cycling nutrients.  Other places, carbon rich topsoil can be several meters deep. 
 
George Lee
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Pretty pertinent topic. Refer here: http://youtu.be/m6i6u5n4HRk

This is a wonderful segment!

Enjoy -
 
kane Abbott
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LivingWind wrote:
Pretty pertinent topic. Refer here: http://youtu.be/m6i6u5n4HRk

This is a wonderful segment!

Enjoy -


Thanks for the sharing living wind, i did enjoy that segmant and have stored it for profiling purpose.... definately relevant.  What i find interesting is the fact that we could be carbon neutral from correctly mananging a mere 2 % of Australia's 445 milliion hectares of agriculture land.  We can use agriculture as a way to build top soil and sequester huge amounts of carbon, whilst increasing the fertility and general life off the soil.  I'am wondering how this all fits in with the "carbon tax in australia", do you have a carbon tax in the states?
 
George Lee
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United States
There is no nationwide carbon tax levelled in the USA, although a few states have introduced the tax. There is widespread opposition to such a measure during the current era of low industrial growth.


Colorado
In November 2006, voters in Boulder, Colorado passed what is proclaimed to be the first municipal 'carbon tax'. It is a tax on electricity consumption (utility bills) with deductions for using electricity from renewable sources (primarily Xcel's WindSource program). Their goal is to reduce carbon emissions to those outlined in the Kyoto Protocol; specifically to reduce their emissions by 7% below 1990 levels by 2012.[147] Tax revenues get collected by Xcel Energy and are directed to the city's Office of Environmental Affairs to fund programs to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions.[148]

The Climate Action Plan (CAP) tax is expected to raise $1.6 million dollars in 2010. The tax was increased to a maximum allowable rate by voters in 2009 in order to meet CAP goals. Currently the tax is set at $0.0049 /kWh for residential users (ave. $21 per year), $0.0009 /kWh for commercial (ave. $94 per year), and $0.0003 /kWh for industrial (ave. $9,600 per year). The revenues from the tax are expected to decrease over time as businesses and residents reduce their energy use and begin to use more solar and wind power. The tax will expire on March 31, 2013.[147]

California
In May 2008, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which covers nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, passed a carbon tax on businesses of 4.4 cents per ton of CO2.[149]

Some states are considering the imposition of carbon taxes. For example in 2006, the state of California, passed AB-32 which requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In an effort to execute AB-32 (Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006), the California Air Resources Board put forth the idea to implement a carbon tax but has yet to reach agreement with the Western States Petroleum Association who represent the refineries in the state. The WSPA holds that AB-32 only allows a carbon tax to cover administrative costs.[150]

Maryland
In May 2010 Montgomery County, Maryland passed the nation's first county-level carbon tax.[151] The new legislation calls for payments of $5 per ton of CO2 emitted from any stationary source emitting more than a million tons of carbon dioxide during a calendar year.[152] There is only one source of emissions fitting the criteria laid out by the council, an 850 megawatt coal-fired power plant owned by Mirant Corporation. The tax is expected to raise between $10 million and $15 million for the county which is facing a nearly $1 billion budget gap[153] The plan calls for half of revenue to go toward creating a low interest loan plan for county residents to invest in residential energy efficiency upgrades.[152] The County's energy supplier buys its energy at auction, so Mirant must continue to sell its energy at market value, which means no discernible increase in energy costs will be felt by the counties residents. In June 2010 the Mirant Corporation opened a lawsuit against the county to stop the tax. It is expected that litigation will take years to be completed [154]

 
kane Abbott
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Do you have carbon credits?
 
Jonathan Byron
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Carbon credits in the US are available, but it is a purely voluntary system - the 'cap and trade' system that was developed by conservative economists as a market system to reduce greenhouse gases is being blocked by conservative politicians. On the other hand, there is a large facility not so far from my home that is producing carbon negative wood pellets for export to Europe, they have an incentive to burn more of that in existing power plants to reduce their coal consumption.
 
Tyler Ludens
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How is it a wood pellet which is manufactured and shipped to a foreign land can be "carbon negative"?  It claims to have sequestered more carbon than it contains and is produced in its manufacture, shipping and use?      How is that even possible? 
 
kane Abbott
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i m not sure how that is possible....hmmm  ,fuji water claims to be off setting more carbon then it produces, by planting rainforest but these figures are based a futuristic estimates that they have not yet reached.  In other words they claim to have planted a whole rainforest but they have only planted a small part  , and still have a carbon neutral label.
 
Dale Hodgins
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      The word "then" has to do with time. If you're making some sort of comparison the word "than" may be used. These are different words and are not necessarily interchangeable
 
Tyler Ludens
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kane Abbott wrote:
i m not sure how that is possible....hmmm  ,fuji water claims to be off setting more carbon then it produces, by planting rainforest but these figures are based a futuristic estimates that they have not yet reached.  In other words they claim to have planted a whole rainforest but they have only planted a small part  , and still have a carbon neutral label.


Yeah, this is one of my biggest beefs with carbon offsets and carbon trading schemes.  I think they're mostly fictional. 
 
duane hennon
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these "liquid carbon = carbohydrate" pathways also occur in temperate forests.
so don't run out and cut down your food forest to build grasslands.
it is important to note that these fungi require a certain amount of soil humus to live. they don't eat it, just need a place to live and move in.
also not distrubing the soil by plowing is important since it breaks up soil structure and burns up humus.
this fits in nicely with Alan Savory's work and David Jacke's "Edible Forest Gardens"
 
Kirk Hutchison
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So this means... food forest with chop n' drop is the ideal system! Trees AND really deep soil 
 
George Lee
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Paleo Gardener wrote:
So this means... food forest with chop n' drop is the ideal system! Trees AND really deep soil 
Sounds good to me.
 
George Lee
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
How is it a wood pellet which is manufactured and shipped to a foreign land can be "carbon negative"?  It claims to have sequestered more carbon than it contains and is produced in its manufacture, shipping and use?      How is that even possible?   

It's not. It's a fuckin gimmick. The pellets are shipped as expediently as possible hence voiding the idea that they're truly carbon negative, because fossil fuel is undeniably used within the process of getting them to said country. It's a sham, and the labels need to cease to exist.
Truly carbon-negative may be shipping them nice n' slow, by sailboat, ha. But then you'd have to consider that a fuel-powered skidder
collected the wood for the pellets. I mean, everything has it's inputs and it's outputs. We are going for minimal input and maximal out.
 
kane Abbott
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Off course you wouldn't run out and chop down your forest to stash more carbon, you would have to be completely mad,(can't see the forest for the trees) , the point is if chemical farming was banned globally we would sequester more then double the worlds green house emissions.
The tax is not about carbon, it about tax, and the goverment looking like their taking action against climate change, whilst making money. The corporations are suppose to see this as a cash incentive to become greener but they simply pass the cost of the tax onto consumers, or lie to us.... cheers for the small english lesson dale,  your giving me flash backs, i hope you got the point and didnt get lost on the e and a thing...?
 
George Lee
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Yeah, one big gotdamn racket I tell ya. I really like the idea of collectively greening the desert in western Australia to combat the rest of the world's doing... It would take years and years, and much petrol power to do it, but it sure is an intriguing endeavor.
 
Walter Jeffries
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What non-loggers fail to understand on forestry is that the low grade wood pays over the course of decades to manage the forests so that high grade wood can be harvested later. Making paper, wood chips, pellets all uses the low grade wood. The even smaller particles are left in the forest floor. The action of the skidders and dragging logs stirs up the forest floor litter which is a good thing as it promotes growth. All of this is assuming a sustainable long term forest farm. Farming is the ultimate in long term cropping. We do sustainable forestry as part of our farm.

The best carbon sequestering for wood happens when the logs are made into furniture, lumber for home building and other durable goods. That keeps the carbon out of the cycle longer - decades to centuries.

I have read that our forests are soaking up 1.4 tons to 2.6 tons of carbon a year. They also take in a lot of dust, smog and other pollutants produced by the cities as well as providing beautiful views and attracting the tourists during fall foliage season.

All that said, the fields being grazed by livestock are even better at soaking up carbon AND nitrogen. We apply no fertilizers yet our fields are gradually improving in fertility over the years because we carefully plant legumes and the livestock are spreading manure and urine. Inputs come in the form of the whey and other 'waste products' we get to feed our livestock. We buy and feed no grains and use virtually no petroleum - about 100 hours a year on the tractor which is fairly small.

The reason pastures do better when grazed is that the grazing knocks the plants back to a higher growth rate stage instead of letting them go into the dormant seed stage so early. Careful management of the fields through manged intensive rotational grazing makes this work very well.

Despite the fact that the fields can sequester carbon faster I would not want to have just fields. The mix of forests and fields is idea. It is along the margins where the greatest biodiversity occurs.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
 
kane Abbott
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LivingWind wrote:
Yeah, one big gotdamn racket I tell ya. I really like the idea of collectively greening the desert in western Australia to combat the rest of the world's doing... It would take years and years, and much petrol power to do it, but it sure is an intriguing endeavor.

Where already collectively mining it.
 
kane Abbott
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pubwvj wrote:
What non-loggers fail to understand on forestry is that the low grade wood pays over the course of decades to manage the forests so that high grade wood can be harvested later. Making paper, wood chips, pellets all uses the low grade wood. The even smaller particles are left in the forest floor. The action of the skidders and dragging logs stirs up the forest floor litter which is a good thing as it promotes growth. All of this is assuming a sustainable long term forest farm. Farming is the ultimate in long term cropping. We do sustainable forestry as part of our farm.

The best carbon sequestering for wood happens when the logs are made into furniture, lumber for home building and other durable goods. That keeps the carbon out of the cycle longer - decades to centuries.

I have read that our forests are soaking up 1.4 tons to 2.6 tons of carbon a year. They also take in a lot of dust, smog and other pollutants produced by the cities as well as providing beautiful views and attracting the tourists during fall foliage season.

All that said, the fields being grazed by livestock are even better at soaking up carbon AND nitrogen. We apply no fertilizers yet our fields are gradually improving in fertility over the years because we carefully plant legumes and the livestock are spreading manure and urine. Inputs come in the form of the whey and other 'waste products' we get to feed our livestock. We buy and feed no grains and use virtually no petroleum - about 100 hours a year on the tractor which is fairly small.

The reason pastures do better when grazed is that the grazing knocks the plants back to a higher growth rate stage instead of letting them go into the dormant seed stage so early. Careful management of the fields through manged intensive rotational grazing makes this work very well.

Despite the fact that the fields can sequester carbon faster I would not want to have just fields. The mix of forests and fields is idea. It is along the margins where the greatest biodiversity occurs.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa

  I agree walter carefully manged pastues and forest working together , with the people and the inviroment.
 
Jonathan Byron
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
How is it a wood pellet which is manufactured and shipped to a foreign land can be "carbon negative"?  It claims to have sequestered more carbon than it contains and is produced in its manufacture, shipping and use?      How is that even possible?   


I make no claims regarding whether or not those claims are true, or if they are ultimately a good idea if the claims are true. But here is the rationale put forward ...

Carbon that has been sitting in the ground for millions of years is different than carbon that has been in a tree for 20 years - if we only burned wood, we would not be raising the CO2 levels. If we are simply using biomass as a solar battery, that is carbon neutral. 

The pellet plant in question uses bark (which is less energy dense than the wood) as an energy source to heat/dry the wood and perform other energy intensive tasks. Putting the wood chips onto a seagoing vessel to ship it 4000 miles to Europe does take energy (generally diesel fuel), but it requires a fraction of the energy contained in the wood (and requires only a fraction of the carbon emissions).  Net result according to energy budget calculations (which are audited by independent organizations) is that burning the wood pellets results in significantly less CO2 going into the air.

 
Benjamin Burchall
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If you don't have space for trees, what other plants that bear some kind of food for humans are the most useful for chop 'n drop carbon sequestering?
 
Jonathan Byron
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Lots of leguminous shrubs - cassias and sennas are popular in the SE US, nice yellow flowers.  And most hardwoods can be coppiced or pruned to fit any space.

http://www.google.com/search?q=candlestick+plant&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1360&bih=640#um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=candlestick+plant+cassia+senna&pbx=1&oq=candlestick+plant+cassia+senna&aq=f&aqi=&aql=1&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=8431l11189l0l11412l13l13l0l10l0l1l1409l2979l5-1.0.2l3l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.&fp=e16f21420f70b19&biw=1360&bih=640

 
Russ White
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Wow we are exporting wood pellets. How can that be? Where are these pellets going? Do they not have trees there. I'm sure if this is true, price will go up here for pellets. Forgive me this seems like financial thing not carbon thing. Are we as tax payers paying for this. 
 

 
jesse tack
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I dont know if this was mentioned or not but Darren Doherty spoke on Jill Coultier's podcast stating: if we could increase the carbon content of the worlds agricultural soils, 12% of Earth's arable land, by 1.6%, then we could sequester carbon to pre-industrial levels. 

He seemed to indicate that soils are the greatest known source of carbon sequestration.

In combination with tree sequestration and fungal filtering properties, I think we're pretty good off.
 
allen lumley
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Russ White : Slightly of topic but yes, we are simultaneously importing and exporting 'Wood Pellets', We also have a Federal law that prohibits shipping oil out of the
United States, but there is an exception, for every gal of ''Blending Stocks'' we import we are allowed to Export a Gal.

The tar sands oil to be shipped thruthe U.S> to reach the gulf states refineries will remain the property of 'Canadian interests', after this gunk has been cracked
and re-'grade'-ed, it can and will be sold out of the Country - We take all the risks just like a third world country and BP/et al gets to sell in in Europe for big(GER)
Bucks !

For years Big Natural gas 'interests' were lobbying congress to allow for the creation of Special Seacoast Liquid Natural Gas L.N.G. Terminals, to allow for the import
of more L.N.G. so the American Consumer will not 'Freeze to death in the dark' ! Plans were slowly proceeding slowly, when 'fracking' caused a glut of Nat. Gas here
in the States - Ten points if you can figure how the nat gas 'interests' want the Seacoast terminals re- configured Now ! Hint Nat gas prices in Europe are about 3-4 x
^er Big Al
 
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