Washington (GGM) Analysis
by Noreen Wise
It’s important to learn as much about carbon as swiftly as possible so we can turn the corner and begin to reverse decades of excesses that have led to our current climate crisis.
Understanding carbon sink is a significant first step. Carbon sink is the process by which carbon in the atmosphere is removed and safely stored, reducing the overall amount of carbon in the air. Thus, carbon sink is vitally important.
There are 3 natural carbon sinks. All 3, store more carbon than they release:
- plants, trees & forests
Some scientists work to find ways to increase the amount of carbon that nature can absorb. For example, soil. Organic farmers plant cover crops in order to allow more carbon storage, because it locks in the carbon. Cover crops keep the carbon away from microbes that convert the stored carbon to carbon dioxide.
Oceans can sequester (“sink”) up to 50% of the carbon in the air. However, when oceans store too much carbon, like it’s doing now, the water heats up and melts the glaciers from underneath causing the water levels to rise. Warmer water, and more of it, results in much bigger and fiercer storms, as we have experienced in the past five years.
Forests store 14% of atmospheric carbon, much lower than the ocean’s sequestration. This explains why there are so many urgent cries for us to plant more trees. Planting trees is very simple and easy, adding not only more carbon storage capacity, but amazing beauty and an environ that supports animal life.
Oceans should no longer be a focus for carbon sink, rather we must target planting more trees and and cover crops.
We can do this!
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