Soil Carbon Alliance

Put carbon where it belongs!

Soil and Biomass carbon sinks to grow our way out of global climate change

The major long term (geological) natural sink of atmospheric CO2 is weathering of rocks, but fossil fuel CO2 addition now is hundreds to thousands of times faster than natural CO2 sinks currently can absorb.

So Adam Cherson’s question raised below can be reworded: Is it possible to increase rock weathering rates by hundreds to thousands of times?

The answer is yes, because most plants grow on soils with severe nutrient limitations, but if purely physical approaches are used it means crushing, trucking, and spreading, a LOT of rock to fine grain sizes that increase weathering reaction rates, which, as he points out, can be expensive.

Many farmers do so anyway because their soils benefit so much from limestone powder, but complete nutrition requires a balance of some 20 or so more essential elements as well as just calcium and pH.

A mixture of basalt rock powder with nitrogen-rich biological compost and biochar can provide a near perfect elemental balance of natural materials that is slow-release and extremely long lasting, decades to centuries.

In contrast, most chemical fertilizer (NPK) can’t even be used by plants because it lacks the other elements essential for their utilization, and winds up killing river, lake, and ocean ecosystems instead.

When biology multiplies on the right balance of biogeochemical soil materials, mineral and organic, the rates of carbon dioxide removal, and storage, as biomass and soil are vastly increased!

Healthy plants release organic acids, chelating agents, and mycorrhizae as well as CO2 on rocks in order to extract the essential elements they need from ground mineral powder.

Root respiration boosts soil CO2 to hundreds or more times higher than the atmosphere, so rich growth of vegetation on rock powders increases CO2 weathering sinks many times faster than chemistry alone can.

Regenerative development to reverse climate change, or Bio-Geotharapy, re-generates the natural mechanisms that regulate our climate, water, and CO2 cycles.

Investing CO2 in healthy strong ecosystems, with irreplaceable climate regulatory capacity, is the most sustainable and cost-effective way to grow our way out of climate change.

That’s what good farmers or gardeners do compared to bad ones: compare a fruit tree forest sucking CO2 from the air versus barren fallow fields between crops rotting soil and plant CO2 into the air!

“We must tend our gardens” – Voltaire’s Candide.