Biochar Buries FossilWhat is biochar?
Biochar is charcoal made from biomass by cooking it (without air) at high temperatures. Biochar can store large amounts of carbon in the ground for centuries, like putting coal back in the mines.
Where would this biomass come from?
Rotting leaves return as much CO2 to the atmosphere as the plants took in to make them. All we have to do is rake them up and turn them into biochar to keep all that carbon in the ground.
How much decaying biomass is there?
The natural decay of organic material in forests and grasslands and the action of forest fires results in the release of about 439 gigatonnes of CO2 every year. In comparison, human activities only amount to 29 gigatonnes of CO2 per year.
Who would pay for it?
Adding biochar to soil can improve water quality, increase soil fertility, reduce nutrient leaching, and raise agricultural productivity. This gives it a market value of anywhere from $1 to $50 per pound depending on quality and nutrients, as a soil supplement.
Are there any famous supporters?
This technique is advocated by prominent scientists such as James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, for mitigation of global warming by greenhouse gas remediation, as well as some climate change activists such as Al Gore.