Carbon Sequestration: How to Reduce Greenhouse Gasses by Restoring Vegetation

The rate at which the planet is warming has placed mankind on a collision course with consequence. Since the dawn of the industrial age, human beings have harnessed the power of fossil fuels to propel an insatiable thirst for modernization. Currently, the energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide are over 32 billion metric tons per year.

Admit There is a Problem

As is common knowledge for most reasonable people, industrialization has resulted in the release of massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere -- causing the “greenhouse effect.” If gone unchanged, this pattern will lead to irreversible damage to the climate which will have a catastrophic effect on human populations in every region of the world.

Work for a Solution

Thankfully, environmental scientists, agricultural experts, organic farmers, climatologists and a host of other concerned professionals have been hard at work finding ways to reduce atmospheric carbon. This is necessary because curtailing of fossil fuel use is not enough to reverse global warming. Greenhouse gasses -- especially carbon -- must somehow be removed from the air in great quantities and returned to the soil.

Harness a Natural Process

One such method is known as carbon sequestration, which is the capturing and indefinite storing of atmospheric CO2 through either geologic or biologic means. The former involves storing of captured CO2 into porous rock formations, while the latter is a process of greenhouse gas reduction through grassland restoration. This practice focuses on enhancing soil organic material 

(SOM) and soil organic carbon (SOC) in areas where flora once flourished but has since become sparse or nonexistent.

Learn from the Past

This equation requires several elements including a large swath of land in a temperate climate, an abundant supply of organic fertilizer and the assistance of some hungry, four-legged friends. For example, there are massive expanses of land across the American Southwest that were once grassland. European settlers used these areas for grazing, yet livestock practices at the time did not involve ample rotation so that the grass could regenerate. With no plant roots to hold in moisture from rainfall, the remaining soil nutrients were washed away and the land eventually became too barren to sustain a large biomass.

Introduce the Ungulates

These regions are not entirely without flora, however, and offer enough vegetation to sustain small herds of goats, sheep and bison. These animals consume their calories by eating sagebrush, desert willow, rabbitbrush and the like and leave behind droppings that make for excellent fertilizer. Meanwhile, their pointed hooves aerate the ground and their keepers distribute additional nutrients in the form of organic fertilizer and other eco-friendly soil amendments as they move the herd from one area to another.

Watch it Grow

As a result, large areas plentiful with dormant seeds are beginning to sprout the indigenous grasses that once covered the region. In turn, this increasing biomass absorbs large amounts of atmospheric carbon and stores it in the soil as part of the natural cycle of maintaining its own habitat. This successful instance of carbon sequestration is just one of many ways which, coupled with the elimination of fossil fuel usage, can reverse the trajectory of global warming and the threat it poses to humanity.

You can take action and participate in the movement to capture and store atmospheric carbon by cultivating your own vegetation, crops and swaths of general biomass. Take a look at X Hydro Supply’s extensive selection of gardening supplies and eco-friendly fertilizers and join the effort to reverse global warming today.



By Luke Schmaltz

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