carbon sequestration

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Carbon Sequestration. Akilah Martin Fall 2005. Outline. Pre-Assessment Student learning goals Carbon Sequestration Background Century Model Overview What is Expected of Students Assignment/Scenario Example Simulation. Student Learning Goals. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Carbon SequestrationAkilah MartinFall 2005

  • Outline Pre-AssessmentStudent learning goalsCarbon Sequestration BackgroundCentury Model OverviewWhat is Expected of StudentsAssignment/ScenarioExample Simulation

  • Student Learning GoalsThrough this project students will be able to:

    Understand the use of models in analyzing and predicting solutions to real-world, complex problems

    (2) Understand carbon sequestration processes

    (3) Correlate tillage practices, soil texture, weather, and cropping sequences with optimal carbon sequestration strategies

    (4) Enhance students decision-making skills

    (5) Be able to use the concepts, generate ideas and apply what was learned in their future environmental careers

  • Defining Carbon SequestrationProcess of transforming carbon in the air (carbon dioxide or CO2) into soil carbon Long-term storage of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere, underground, or the oceans so that the buildup of carbon dioxide (the principal greenhouse gas) concentration in the atmosphere will be reducedRemoval of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere into sinks (i.e. soil) is one way of addressing climate change


  • Carbon FactsIn the past 60 years, the amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted to the atmosphere, primarily because of expanding use of fossil fuels for energy, has risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 parts per million to present levels of over 365 parts per million This increase has been implicated in a gradual increase in the Earths temperature

    In 1998, the US released 5.4 tonnes of carbon per capita, European countries averaged around 1.9 tonnes and Africa emitted 0.3 tonnes. 1 tonne = 1,000kg


  • Carbon Storage FactsSoils store about 3X as much carbon as does terrestrial vegetation 27% of this carbon is found in tundra and boreal forest ecosystems The grassland region, which includes arid, transitional and sub-humid grassland, stores considerably less carbon than the more northern regions

  • Carbon FactsPlants and trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere by the process photosynthesis. Carbon is returned to the atmosphere through respiration of plants, microbes, and animals and by natural and human-induced disturbances, such as fire. Carbon is also released to the atmosphere as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) upon combustion of fossil fuels. Reference:

  • Atmospheric CarbonAtmospheric Carbon goes to:Oceans, soil, and plants

    Atmospheric Carbon comes from:Burning fossil fuels, soil organic carbon decomposition, and deforestation

  • Global WarmingThe Earth's surface temperature has risen by 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. Atmospheric greenhouse gases water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gasesHuman activitiesCO2 accounts for 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions Reference:


  • Global WarmingIndustrial revolutionatmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%methane concentrations have more than doublednitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15%Enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earth's atmosphere Sulfate aerosols cool the atmosphere by reflecting light back into spaceSulfates are short-lived in the atmosphere and vary regionally.

  • Greenhouse EffectEmissions primarily of CO2 and methane

  • Processes of the Greenhouse EffectSource of Carbon

  • Greenhouse Gases FactsWater vapor, nitrous oxide, methane, carbon dioxide, and ozone

    Methane traps over 21 times more heat per molecule than carbon dioxide

    Nitrous oxide absorbs 270 times more heat per molecule than carbon dioxide

  • Impacts on Agriculture

  • Carbon Sources and SinksSourcesSinksIndustry (air pollution)Human Activity (Farming)AutomobilesFossil Fuel BurningOceansSoilsForests

  • Reference: Carbon Sinks

  • Fossil Fuel Burning Emissions

  • Sources/Sinks of C-sequestrationReference: carbon in the atmosphere has been a major contributor to global warmingAtmospheric Carbon


  • World Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Region2001-2025(Million Metric Tons of Carbon Equivalent)

  • CENTURY Model (USDA-ARS)Colorado State University Research GroupModel used to analyze carbon sequestration optimization Web enabledLinked to Purdue ITaP supercomputing facilityCentury Website

  • About the Model.Understanding of the biogeochemistry of Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sulfur Provide a tool for ecosystem analysis to test the consistency of data (i.e. soil carbon) and to evaluate the effects of changes in management and climate on ecosystems

  • Simulates.Long-term and spatial dynamics of Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Sulfur (S) for different Plant-Soil Systems through an annual cycle to centuries and millenniaFeaturesgrassland systemsagricultural crop systemsforest systemssavanna systems

  • Scaling of Site PropertiesWe are defining the term scale in this project as the many combinations of climate, texture, tillage and cropsFrom location to location, site properties changeThose site properties includeTillageSoil textureClimateCrop

  • Website

  • ExpectationsAfter completion of assignment students are expected to:

    Understand the concepts of carbon sequestration

    Make decisions on carbon sequestration using the tools provided

    State a hypothesis, test the hypothesis using the model and make decisions based on results


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