Volcanic stones to capture more CO2

plant volcanic rocks to capture more co2

Farmers around the world have the potential to contribute to the planet's decarbonization efforts by incorporating crushed volcanic rocks into their fields, according to a study. The study also highlights that the warm and humid tropics offer the most favorable conditions to implement this climate intervention strategy. And they can be used volcanic stones to capture more CO2.

In this article we are going to tell you how volcanic stones can be used to capture more CO2, what studies there are on the matter and what potential this has to combat climate change.

Volcanic stones to capture more CO2

volcanic stones to capture more co2

The publication in Earth's Future presents one of the first global assessments of the potential sequestration of carbon dioxide through the strategic placement of basalt stones in agricultural fields around the world.

The technical term for this particular form of climate intervention is “enhanced rock weathering.” It takes advantage of the natural process of rock erosion, which naturally retains carbon dioxide in carbonate minerals. The concept is simple: accelerate the erosion process in a way that also has positive impacts for humans. When implemented alongside efforts to reduce emissions, it can help mitigate the rapid progression of climate change.

The study's authors suggest that incorporating rocks into crops could be a safer option for reducing carbon emissions compared to other systems. S. Hun Baek, a climate scientist at Yale University and principal investigator of the study, stated that increased rock erosion carries fewer risks compared to alternative climate interventions. Furthermore, this method offers additional advantages, such as revitalizing depleted soils and mitigating the effects of ocean acidification, which can increase its attractiveness from a social perspective.

new study

volcanic rocks

Through this new study, the potential of using crushed basalt, a type of rock that forms during the cooling of lava and erodes quickly, in agricultural fields around the world is examined. Besides, The study identifies regions where rock breakdown can occur most effectively.

According to study co-author Noah Planavsky, a geochemist at Yale University, there is immense potential in this area. Although there is still much to be discovered from a scientific point of view, there are reasons to be optimistic and focus our attention on exploring the possibilities from both the market and financial perspectives.

The use of crushed basalt as a soil amendment in agricultural practices has proven to be beneficial for cropland. To evaluate the effectiveness of enhanced rock weathering in sequestering carbon dioxide and determining its sensitivity to climate, The researchers used a new biogeochemical model. Additionally, they identified regions where this method could produce better results.

By using the new model, the researchers were able replicate the implementation of this system in 1.000 agricultural locations worldwide, between 2006 and 2080, considering two different emissions scenarios. His findings revealed that over the 75 years of the study, these agricultural sites would absorb a staggering 64 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide. If we extrapolate this data to cover all agricultural fields, representing the full scope of this strategy's potential worldwide, it is estimated that 217 gigatonnes of carbon could be effectively captured in that same time period.

Benefits of using volcanic stones to capture more CO2

CO2 emissions

According to Baek, The most recent IPCC report emphasizes the urgency of eliminating between 100 and 1.000 gigatonnes of carbon by 2100, along with significant emissions reductions, to slow the rise in global temperature to one and a half degrees Celsius.

By analyzing agricultural land expansion around the world, we found that carbon removal estimates closely align with the minimum requirements needed to have a feasible chance of achieving desired climate goals.

The study emphasizes that the utilization of rocks in agricultural environments would have a faster impact in tropical regions compared to higher latitudes due to the accelerated erosion process in hot and humid environments. For make economically viable and environmentally beneficial decisions regarding carbon removal, farmers and companies should prioritize the implementation of basalt in tropical fields.

Process of naturally capturing and storing CO2

In warmer temperatures, the model demonstrated another encouraging finding: Improved rock erosion proves to be equally effective, if not a little more so. In contrast, other carbon capture methods, such as those that rely on soil organic carbon storage, experience decreased effectiveness as temperatures increase.

Baek expressed that the resilience of enhanced rock erosion in the face of climate change is quite remarkable. The findings indicate that it is not significantly affected by climate change and remains highly effective even under moderate to severe global warming scenarios. These results instill confidence in its viability as a long-term strategy.

According to Planavsky, Farmers currently deposit large quantities of limestone, a calcium carbonate rock that can act as a carbon source or sink, in your fields to supply nutrients and control soil acidity. Gradually transitioning to a different type of rock could facilitate a smooth implementation of enhanced rock weathering on a larger scale.

The implementation of enhanced rock weathering has been successfully tested on farms around the world, although on a limited scale. Looking to the future, The focus is now on achieving “realistic implementation,” as Planavsky stated.

As you can see, the use of science can increasingly help combat climate change in totally unexpected ways. I hope that with this information you can learn more about the new studies about using volcanic stones to capture more CO2 and thus be able to combat climate change.

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