Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The clathrate gun goes off.

The last few months I have seen a lot of articles about the permafrost craters, the subsea methane hydrate release plumes, and the high methane concentrations in parts of the arctic atmosphere. So, have we reached a tipping point? Is this really the clathrate gun going off? Of course, being hyperactive apes with very short attention spans, it just doesn't register on us as an event, or the threat it is. Geologic events have a pace we just don't see in our three score and ten, and are more apt to be of note to Ents and bristlecone pines.

At this point, climate change is probably baked in, but the rate might still be subject to some ability to affect. Unfortunately, we are pretty much doing everything to affect it in a bad way. Apart from spewing combustion products, clearcutting the tropical rain forests pretty much seals the deal. Deforestation rates in the Amazon, after slowing for several years, have spiked higher, mostly due to shifts in Brazil politics. Everyone is trying to make money NOW. There goes roughly 20% of the worlds oxygen production.

I'm not going to dwell on it or get depressed.  After all, can't do much, but I do plan to do what I can. I have been thinking lately that I will add a biochar retort to my project list, and when clearing prickly ash to transition to oaks and maples, use some of this brush to make biochar. And of course, years down the road, once the nut trees are needing trimming, pollarding, cutting out dead ones, they can run through the retort as well.

It would be great if worldwide biochar production ramped up like Albert Bates and others suggest. I don't see that happening, but I will give it a shot, and get some soil amendment to boot.

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