Terra Preta, Biochar, Black Gold: a Climate Change Solution

It's no silver bullet, but Terra Preta de Indio, a centuries-old agricultural-waste management and fertilization practice, may provide part of the solution to global warming - and to the gathering world food shortage.

Terra Preta is a literal description of the “dark earth” that European explorers first discovered in the Amazon basin, earth that researchers now believe was enriched with charred agricultural waste. Preparing and mixing this biochar into the earth is a great way to sequester carbon AND to fertilize crops.

There are a host of challenges - a large number of hurdles to clear before biochar can be guaranteed as a useful solution to climate change - but when asked if it's a possible goal, Cornell University Assoc. Professor Johannes Lehmann, one of the world's leading experts on biochar, said: “Absolutely!”

Are You on the Heartland 500 List of "Doubters"

Earlier today we broke the story about dozens of scientists outraged that their name is included on a list widely distributed by the Heartland Institute with an article entitled 500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares.

The article is written by Dennis Avery, a “Senior Fellow” at the Heartland Institute. The article which was first published by another think tank called the Hudson Institute, where Avery is also listed as a “Senior Fellow,” has bounced around the internet as proof that there is great doubts about the realities of human-caused global warming.

We emailed 122 of the scientists and in less than 24 hours more than 35 scientists have responded in outrage.

The list of the Heartland 500 is attached. If you are on the list please let us know by email at: [email protected].

Sweet Dreams From The Birthplace of Rip Van Winkle

While 61 percent of Americans say the effects of global warming have already begun, just a little more than a third say they worry about it a great deal, a percentage that is roughly the same as the one Gallup measured 19 years ago.

Hopeful Climate Fix Bites The Dust

A climate “fix” to curb global warming would have a serious side effect, damaging the Earth's protective ozone shield.

Scientists have put forward several proposals to reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the planet's surface, including the use of light-reflecting sulphate particles in the atmosphere. But a study published in Science concludes that injecting sulphate particles into the stratosphere would have a drastic impact, reducing Earth's protective ozone layer.

Climate Change and Pine Beetles

To understand just how complex, scary and immediate climate change is, look no further than the case of the tiny mountain pine beetle.

Populations of this tree-eating insect have exploded over the last ten years due to warmer winters, devastating the majestic forests of western Canada and destroying over $20 billion in timber.

Now comes a frightening study published in the prestigious journal Nature that that the huge swaths of dead trees killed by the beetles are themselves emitting enormous quantities of carbon into the atmosphere as they decompose – further exacerbating our climate problems.

Pages

Subscribe to DeSmogBlog