Climate change

Use of biochar (charcoal) to replenish soil carbon pools, restore soil fertility and sequester CO2

Submission by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
4th Session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the
Convention (AWG-LCA 4), Poznan, 1-10 December 2008
Submission containing ideas and proposals on Paragraph 1 of the Bali Action Plan:
Use of biochar (charcoal) to replenish soil carbon pools, restore soil fertility and sequester CO2


Climate Change/Pro-Natura
Guy F. Reinaud, Pro-Natura International, November 24, 20007

Dear Friends and Members of Pro-Natura,

The importance of spreading knowledge about climate change is emphasized by the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore. GreenFacts* is pleased to contribute, in collaboration with Pro-Natura International, to disseminating the most recent scientific findings on the subject by publishing a faithful, reader-friendly summary of the latest IPCC assessment report (see attached document).

Heartiest congratulations from the Pro-Natura team to Jean Jouzel, Vice-President of the IPCC.

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UN Climate Change Conference: Biochar present at the Bali Conference
Christoph Steiner, to Terra Preta Discussion List, November

I was hoping that biochar finds a hearing at the UN climate change conference in Bali. I am very glad that biochar got two hours in Bali:
December 13, 13:00-15:00, Bali International Convention Center Events

Theme UNCCD: Sustainable Land Management for Adaptation to Climate Change

Welcome Statement: Executive secretary of the UNCCD

Keynote Statement: President of the UNCCD COP


* Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Zech; University of Bayreuth

An overview of naturally occurring soil carbon, its depletion and how to redress this trend. The origin of Terra Preta soils and how their replication could have the most significant impact on the achievement of the targets of the World Food Summit.

Rethinking biochar Will amending soil with charcoal make it more fertile and combat global warming?
Environmental Science and Technology, Technology News, August 1, 2007
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Simpler Way To Counter Global Warming Explained: Lock Up Carbon In Soil And Use Bioenergy Exhaust Gases For Energy
Science Daily News, May 12, 2007

Writing in the journal Nature, a Cornell biogeochemist describes an economical and efficient way to help offset global warming: Pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by charring, or partially burning, trees, grasses or crop residues without the use of oxygen.


Commentary: A Handful of Carbon
Johannes Lehmann in Nature Magazine, Vol 447, 10 May 2007

Locking carbon up in soil makes more sense than storing it in plants and trees that eventually decompose, argues Johannes Lehmann. Can this idea work on a large scale?

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Mélanie Élouise Bennet PhD Student University of East Anglia, School of Biological Sciences John Innes Centre, Dept. Molecular Mircobiology Chairman, UEA Gardening Group

The current challenge

The world faces a “perfect storm” of food, water and energy shortages. Food stocks are the lowest they’ve been in 50 years. John Beddington, chief scientific advisor to the UK Government, has stated that 50% more food, 50% more energy and 30% more water will be needed by 2030 to supply a growing population. Even in developed nations like Britain and Australia, rising environmental pressure on crops would drive up import prices. Higher temperatures and less water brought about by climate change is expected to make some crop growing area difficult to manage, particularly in areas which are already experiencing drier than normal conditions. However, the precise impacts of climate change are difficult to predict accurately.


Energy, the Carbon Cycle, and Enduring Greenhouse Gas Management
Duane Pendergast, IEEE, 2006


Knowledge of energy has allowed humans to flourish in numbers unimaginable to our ancestors. Some are concerned that emissions from the fossil fuels we use will lead to changing climate with possibly disastrous consequences.

Many propose that we improve the efficiency of energy use and conserve resources to lessen greenhouse gas emissions and avoid climate catastrophe. It is unlikely such initiatives will have a perceptible effect on atmospheric greenhouse gas content.

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