Would extreme gardening/composting help to reduce carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere?


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I just want to make sure I have this right.

The plants take in the carbon as a structural component of themselves and hold it there. Then, when the plant dies it deposits the majority of that carbon into the soil instead of only back into the air (as long as it can decompose properly and not get burned) in the form of organic matter and liquid carbon. So if humanity grew a lot more plants, and got a lot more into composting, that would make things a lot easier to get the carbon dioxide balance back right?

The stuff was sequestered underground in a way that we can't really replicate right now (oil and other fossil fuels). But imagine each barrel of oil burned and how much plant matter would be required to sequester that amount of carbon. If managed properly, could this excess carbon in the atmosphere be turned into mega soil fertility? Each barrel of oil converted through plant growth into a layer of carbon rich soil?

Is that more or less how nature would be handling this thing right now if we weren't here to screw it up? Massive plant growth followed by management by wildlife followed by extreme ground fertility and soil growth?

Tell me what I'm getting wrong plz.
 
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When the plant dies it decomposes, the organisms that do that do return a lot of the carbon to the atmosphere in the process. There are good reasons for incorporating organic material into the soil. Leaf mould, for example, drains rapidly, if you pour a large quantity of water into the top what comes out of the bottom will come out faster than it will if it is clay or loam. At the same time there will also be much less of it, leaf mould will hold much more water than any other type of soil. Part of the effect of this is to slow erosion. When Britain was uncultivated the forest probably had eight feet or more of accumulated leaf mould, but in terms of the amount of carbon held that doesn't compare at all well with an eight foot coal seam, it has nothing like the density.
There could be massive growth, That is not always a healthy thing. Where there are abnormal conditions, such as a rise in temperature and specific nutrients a single species can become hugely dominant for a bit, like algal blooms on oceans. It can work on a smaller scale as well, the flora on roadsides differs because of the nitrates in exhausts.
Summary, I don't think it will save us, I don't think there is any one thing can do that, but yes, it is a step in the right direction.
 
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In reply to the authors question. My answer is. NO. There are lots and lots of ideas on this matter. After all sais and done. The outcome of this really does concern us all. So many factors contribute to global warming, and carbon is just a tiny part. To be honest. Whether one takes a GODLY creative view or a scientific evolutionary view. At one point in the history of planet earth, indications are. Everything was perfect. Then to cut the story short. Mankind has ruined it. Could you imagine, attempting to restore the ice caps? Then there is this frantic attempt to plant more trees. In theory, for every tree that is cut down in the rain forest, three or four new ones are planted. It takes at least thirty years for a tree to begin the process of filtering the air. Down to our everyday life style. Do away with petrol and diesel motors. Hey electric cars etc still use rubber tyres. There are so many points to question, even down to processing waste water and sewage. Our attempts are so puny. A recent comment by Mr Putin. The bit of trouble with HMS Defender. The Russians could have easily blown Defender out of the water. Would this have caused WW3. NO. Because the world powers know, mankind can now totally destroy planet earth. It seems we have come to the end of the road. This is IMO.
 
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Google Terre Preta, the Amazonian soil. The indians manage to get about 18 meters of carbon into the soil over many centuries. It turns out oxygen is really important, and that carbon holds a great deal of it in the soil. There are other nutrients held as well, but roots have a need for oxygen oddly enough, where the top of the plant uses carbon dioxide.

When a tree dies, you will notice the decay of the leaves, bark and small ramial wood in short order. These are nutrients and get drawn into the oxidation layer.

Interestingly the pulp of the tree becomes exposed and releases carbon dioxide very slowly over many years. The plants use both, and have adapted to do so.

Many make fun of grass as a wasted effort, but grass is the place to start when reclaiming soil. Some of the prairie grasses grow tremendous roots.
 

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