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Carbon Sequestration Akilah Martin Fall 2005. Outline Pre-Assessment  Student learning goals  Carbon Sequestration Background  Century Model Overview.

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Presentation on theme: "Carbon Sequestration Akilah Martin Fall 2005. Outline Pre-Assessment  Student learning goals  Carbon Sequestration Background  Century Model Overview."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carbon Sequestration Akilah Martin Fall 2005

2 Outline Pre-Assessment  Student learning goals  Carbon Sequestration Background  Century Model Overview  What is Expected of Students  Assignment/Scenario  Example Simulation

3 Student Learning Goals Through this project students will be able to: (1) 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 student’s decision-making skills (5) Be able to use the concepts, generate ideas and apply what was learned in their future environmental careers

4 Defining Carbon Sequestration  Process of transforming carbon in the air (carbon dioxide or CO 2 ) 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 reduced  Removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere into sinks (i.e. soil) is one way of addressing climate change Reference:

5 Carbon Facts 60  In the past 60 years, the amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) 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 Earth’s 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


7 Carbon Storage Facts  Soils 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

8 Carbon Facts  Plants 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 (CO 2 ) upon combustion of fossil fuels. Reference:

9 Atmospheric Carbon  Atmospheric Carbon goes to:  Oceans, soil, and plants  Atmospheric Carbon comes from:  Burning fossil fuels, soil organic carbon decomposition, and deforestation

10 Global Warming  The 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 gases  Human activities  CO 2 accounts for 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions Reference:


12 Global Warming  Industrial revolution  atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%  methane concentrations have more than doubled  nitrous 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 space  Sulfates are short-lived in the atmosphere and vary regionally.

13 Greenhouse Effect Emissions primarily of CO 2 and methane

14 Processes of the “Greenhouse Effect” Source of Carbon

15 Greenhouse Gases Facts  Water 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

16 Impacts on Agriculture

17 Carbon Sources and Sinks  SourcesSinks Industry (air pollution) Human Activity (Farming) Automobiles Fossil Fuel Burning Oceans Soils Forests

18 Reference: Potential Carbon Sinks

19 Fossil Fuel Burning Emissions

20 Sources/Sinks of C-sequestration Reference: Excessive carbon in the atmosphere has been a major contributor to global warming Atmospheric Carbon


22 World Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Region 2001-2025 (Million Metric Tons of Carbon Equivalent)

23 CENTURY Model (USDA-ARS)  Colorado State University Research Group  Model used to analyze carbon sequestration optimization  Web enabled  Linked to Purdue ITaP supercomputing facility  Century Website 

24 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

25 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 millennia  Features  grassland systems  agricultural crop systems  forest systems  savanna systems

26 Scaling of Site Properties  We are defining the term “scale” in this project as the many combinations of climate, texture, tillage and crops  From location to location, site properties change  Those site properties include  Tillage  Soil texture  Climate  Crop

27 Website

28 Expectations After 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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