We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Iroka Tree Produces Soil Calcium Carbonate
This an unexpected and welcome discovery and perhaps it applies also
to other trees. It certainly is a handy tool to be aware of.
A substantial portion of our environmental problems can be
ameliorated with trees and every farmer needs to think in terms of
optimizing the agricultural use of trees even if it is deploying well
spaced fence rows to provide partial shading and nutrient recycling.
We really have not gone there yet, but we will. The farmers of the
Sahel woke up en mass a decade ago and understood the importance of
this and today satellite images show us ample new tree cover.
Bugs have key role
in farming approach to storing CO2 emissions
by Staff Writer
Edinburgh UK (SPX)
Jun 20, 2012
The Iroko tree makes
a mineral by combining calcium from the earth with CO2 from the
Tiny microbes are at
the heart of a novel agricultural technique to manage harmful
greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have discovered how microbes can
be used to turn carbon dioxide emissions into soil-enriching
limestone, with the help of a type of tree that thrives in tropical
areas, such as West Africa.
Researchers have found
that when the Iroko tree is grown in dry, acidic soil and treated
with a combination of natural fungus and bacteria, not only does the
tree flourish, it also produces the mineral limestone in the soil
around its roots.
The Iroko tree makes a
mineral by combining calcium from the earth with CO2 from the
atmosphere. The bacteria then create the conditions under which this
mineral turns into limestone. The discovery offers a novel way to
lock carbon into the soil, keeping it out of the atmosphere.
In addition to storing
carbon in the trees' leaves and in the form of limestone, the mineral
in the soil makes it more suitable for agriculture.
The discovery could
lead to reforestation projects in tropical countries, and help reduce
carbon dioxide emissions in the developing world. It has already been
used in West Africa and is being tested in Bolivia, Haiti and India.
The findings were made
in a three-year project involving researchers from the Universities
of Edinburgh, Granada, Lausanne and Neuchatel, Delft University of
Technology, and commercial partner Biomim-Greenloop. The project
examined several microbiological methods for locking up CO2 as
limestone, and the Iroko-bacteria pathway showed best results.
Work was funded by the
European Commission under the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
Dr Bryne Ngwenya of
the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, who led the
consortium, said: "By taking advantage of this natural
limestone-producing process, we have a low-tech, safe, readily
employed and easily maintained way to lock carbon out of the
atmosphere, while enriching farming conditions in tropical