Carbon Sink

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Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Sink

More than 40 percent of CO2emissions in the US are due to electric power generation. Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and sequestration (CCS) technology could reduce these emissions from power plants by 80 to 90 percent. For example, if CCS technology was applied to a 500 MW coal-fired power plant, emitting 3 million tons of C02 per year, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions avoided is equal to:
• Planting more than 62 million trees, and waiting at least 10 years for them to grow
• Avoiding annual electricity-related emissions from more than 300,000 homes
CCS technology would also significantly reduce emissions from other industrial processes such as gas operations and cement facilities (EPA, 20xx).
The world has lost 50 to 70 percent of its original carbon stock. This translates into a huge amount of soil carbon released into the atmosphere. Not long ago, in the 19th century, the US was home to vast tracts of prairie grass with rich, fertile soils. Today only three percent of those prairies are in existence. Current studies on carbon sinks center on soil carbon, how it escaped from the earth and how this process can be reversed. To take the research further, investigators are interested in how this knowledge can be used to slow rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is a known cause global warming. There is hope that carbon can be placed back into the soil in places like the North China Plain, the interior of Australia and the North American prairie (Schwartz, 2014). Without important microbes and carbon, soil can deteriorate into dirt and this process of soil turning into dirt is happening worldwide. Certain agricultural processes can revive the carbon content while reducing atmospheric CO2. These same processes can protect delicate ecosystems from floods and drought while increasing soil productivity. Agroforestry…...

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