Climate change remains a hotly debated topic. But a scientific fact not up for dispute is the pronounced spike in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere over the past two centuries.
There’s a building urgency to find solutions that can manage/reverse that spike — a process known as carbon sequestration. But how to do that on a planetary scale? It’s a massive predicament. And most of the ‘solutions’ being proposed are technologically unproven, prohibitively costly and/or completely impractical.
Enter carbon farming. It uses nature-based farming practices to park gigatons of carbon in the soil, rebuild soil health and complexity, and revitalize the nutrient density of the foods that we eat. It is quite likely the only practical — and best — way to sequester carbon at massive scale, as well as reap a multitude of by-product benefits.
In this week’s podcast, field ecologist and agriforestry specialist Connor Stedman explains the science behind the carbon farming process:
For the last few million years of the Earth’s history, when there’s been this cycle of glaciers advancing and receding in the northern hemisphere, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has gone between about 180 parts per million and 280 parts per million. That is the band in which all of human history has happened, up until the last 200 or 300 years.
Now the concentration of carbon dioxide is about 407 parts per million, almost 50% higher than the upper end of that historical normal. Carbon dioxide is one of a number of greenhouse gases that hold heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, rather than it being fully reflected back out into space
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