Whenever the climate is mentioned in the news, scary statistics always follow, which can make it seem like doomsday is upon us. We believe the time to fight back is now. The imperative for tackling climate change is to curb emissions rapidly. Some ways to do this include ramping up renewable energy, boosting energy efficiency, curbing super pollutants such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and slowing deforestation. Although these efforts aren’t enough on their own, we not only need to reduce emissions but also remove and store some carbon from the atmosphere. Carbon removal can take many forms, from new technologies to land management practices. The question in many scientists’ minds is whether these approaches can deliver the level of carbon removal needed for decades to come.
Forests Photosynthesis removes carbon from the air; naturally, trees are especially good at storing carbon they draw from the atmosphere during this process. Expanding, restoring, and managing forests to encourage carbon uptake can leverage the power of the natural cycle and convert carbon dioxide from the air into stored carbon in wood and soil. This approach can be relatively inexpensive compared to other carbon removal methods and yield cleaner water and air in the process.
Ocean-based Many ocean-based concepts have been proposed to use the ocean’s natural capacity to store carbon and identify approaches beyond applications that are only land-based. Nearly all of them are in the early stages of development. They need more research and, in some cases, pilot tests to understand if they are appropriate for funding given potential ecological, social, and governance impacts. Each approach aims to speed up natural carbon cycles in the ocean; they could achieve this by leveraging photosynthesis in coastal plants, seaweed, or phytoplankton. Even adding certain minerals to increase storage of dissolved bicarbonate or running an electric current through seawater to help extract C02 could be a beneficial option.
Farms Soils naturally store carbon, but farming soils run a large deficit due to intensive use. There are approximately 900 million acres of farmland in the United States alone; even small increases in soil carbon per acre could be impactful. Building up soil carbon can benefit farmers and ranchers as it increases the soil’s health and yields more crops. If they were to integrate more trees onto the farmland, they could remove even more carbon while providing other benefits like forage and shade to their livestock. Planting cover crops when fields are otherwise bare can extend photosynthesis throughout the year, or using compost can improve yields even further while storing the compost’s carbon content in the soil.
Each carbon removal approach offers promise and challenges but capturing and storing C02 from the atmosphere must be part of the climate strategy. At Airly®, we do our part by starting with wholesome oats that are grown on cutting-edge carbon-converting farms. We invest in carbon credits to offset our footprint from the production process. We remain committed to bringing innovative ways to continuously reduce our impact on the environment and build a better climate, one tasty cracker at a time.
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