Additional reasons for rebuilding 
soils and ecosystems 
William Moomaw 
Biodiversity for a Living Climate 
Tufts Universi...
The allocation of carbon (C) in the 
biosphere 
• 800 GT of carbon is in the atmosphere as CO2 
• Carbon in deep oceans is...
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere depends 
upon rate of addition minus rate of removal 
• Each year about 9 GT is releas...
Comparisons of sinks 
• Burning all fossil fuels would add 12.5 x the 
current amount of CO2 to the atmosphere 
• Burning ...
The goal 
• The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to 
achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas 
concentrations i...
Strategies 
• Reduce the 9 GT of carbonfrom human 
activity 
– Rapidly reduce use of fossil fuels 
– Avoid releasing carbo...
Think of CO2 in the Atmosphere as a Bathtub 
Emissions 
CO2 in the atmosphere 
Net Removals 
The tub is filled by 
emissio...
Reducing Emissions Post 2050 Puts Us On 
Track to Levelize CO2 around 550 ppm 
Fossil Fuel Emissions 
The “flat path” 
plu...
What Happened? Why Didn’t 
Emissions Level? 
Total Emissions and Removals 
24 B 
18 B 
12 B 
6 B 
0 
2000 2020 2040 2060 2...
It Will Take an 80% Reduction in Fossil 
Fuel Emissions 
Fossil Fuel Emissions 
At this point, emissions equal net removal...
• Approximately one-third of 230 GT carbon 
dioxide added to the atmosphere is from soils 
• Need to shift to restorative ...
Aggressive Sequestration can boost 
removals 
Sources of Total Removals 
6 B 
4.475 B 
2.95 B 
1.425 B 
-100 M 
oceans 
19...
The Added Sequestration Boosts Net 
Removals 
Total Emissions and Removals 
24 B 
18 B 
12 B 
6 B 
0 
2000 2020 2040 2060 ...
Another problem 
• “This paper shows that the climate change that 
takes place due to increases in carbon dioxide 
concent...
Note that CO2 persists for more 
than a millennium after emissions 
cease at the peak, and 
temperatures remain high.
Only a restored global biosphere can 
accelerate the removal of carbon 
dioxide from the atmosphere 
• We cannot accelerat...
Let us begin NOW!
William Moomaw - Climate Advocacy: From Grassroots Activism to International Policy
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

William Moomaw - Climate Advocacy: From Grassroots Activism to International Policy

289 views

Published on

William Moomaw - Climate Advocacy: From Grassroots Activism to International Policy
From Biodiversity for a Livable Climate conference: "Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming"
Sunday November 23rd, 2014
www.bio4climate.org

Published in: Environment
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
289
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
7
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

William Moomaw - Climate Advocacy: From Grassroots Activism to International Policy

  1. 1. Additional reasons for rebuilding soils and ecosystems William Moomaw Biodiversity for a Living Climate Tufts University November 26, 2014
  2. 2. The allocation of carbon (C) in the biosphere • 800 GT of carbon is in the atmosphere as CO2 • Carbon in deep oceans is 37,000 GT and carbon in surface ocean is 1000 GT mostly as carbonate • 2300 GT of C is found in soil • 500 GT is found in living organisms mostly in forest trees
  3. 3. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere depends upon rate of addition minus rate of removal • Each year about 9 GT is released to the atmosphere by human activity from burning fossil fuels and deforestation and soil degradation • About 3 GT of this is absorbed by the terrestrial biosphere • About 2 GT is absorbed by the oceans • Net 4 GT is added to the atmosphere each year
  4. 4. Comparisons of sinks • Burning all fossil fuels would add 12.5 x the current amount of CO2 to the atmosphere • Burning all forests and plants would add 0.63 x current amount • Adding all soil carbon would add 2.9 x current amount
  5. 5. The goal • The ultimate objective of this Convention … is to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. • Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
  6. 6. Strategies • Reduce the 9 GT of carbonfrom human activity – Rapidly reduce use of fossil fuels – Avoid releasing carbon dioxide (and methane) from soils and plants • Accelerate the uptake of carbon dioxide in soils and plants by restoring forests, grasslands, wetlands and soils
  7. 7. Think of CO2 in the Atmosphere as a Bathtub Emissions CO2 in the atmosphere Net Removals The tub is filled by emissions and drained by net removals into oceans and biomass. The inflow is roughly double the outflow As long as emissions per year exceed removals, the level of water (CO2) in the bathtub continues to rise.
  8. 8. Reducing Emissions Post 2050 Puts Us On Track to Levelize CO2 around 550 ppm Fossil Fuel Emissions The “flat path” plus post 2054 reductions Emissions exceed net removals all the way to 2100! 24 B 18 B 12 B 6 B 0 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 TonC/year CO2 in the Atmosphere 800 700 600 500 400 300 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 ppm The outcome of the “flat path” plus post 2050 reductions Goal
  9. 9. What Happened? Why Didn’t Emissions Level? Total Emissions and Removals 24 B 18 B 12 B 6 B 0 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 TonC/year Despite reductions, Emissions exceeded Net Removals through 2100. CO2 in the atmosphere will rise until the two meet. CO2 in the Atmosphere 800 675 550 425 300 Goal 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 Emissions Net Removals
  10. 10. It Will Take an 80% Reduction in Fossil Fuel Emissions Fossil Fuel Emissions At this point, emissions equal net removals by 2050! 24 B 18 B 12 B 6 B 0 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 TonC/year CO2 in the Atmosphere 800 700 600 500 400 300 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 ppm Goal
  11. 11. • Approximately one-third of 230 GT carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere is from soils • Need to shift to restorative development, mobilize the biosphere and accelerate carbon storage in plants and soils • NOTE! Carbon removal from the atmosphere to the soils happened slowly, but can be released rapidly • Can we accelerate the uptake?
  12. 12. Aggressive Sequestration can boost removals Sources of Total Removals 6 B 4.475 B 2.95 B 1.425 B -100 M oceans 1900 1930 1960 1990 2020 2050 2080 Time (year) TonC/year Biomass + soils seq. CO2 in the Atmosphere 800 700 600 500 400 300 Goal 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 ppm Results with 80% reduction in fossil fuel emissions plus 1.6 GTC/year in additional sequestration by 2050
  13. 13. The Added Sequestration Boosts Net Removals Total Emissions and Removals 24 B 18 B 12 B 6 B 0 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 TonC/year Net Removals without additional sequestration Net Removals with additional sequestration So CO2 in the atmosphere balances out a little earlier and lower
  14. 14. Another problem • “This paper shows that the climate change that takes place due to increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop.” • Following cessation of emissions, removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide decreases radiative forcing, but is largely compensated by slower loss of heat to the ocean, so that atmospheric temperatures do not drop significantly for at least 1,000 years. • S. Soloman et al, PNAS, 2009)
  15. 15. Note that CO2 persists for more than a millennium after emissions cease at the peak, and temperatures remain high.
  16. 16. Only a restored global biosphere can accelerate the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere • We cannot accelerate the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the oceans • We can only increase the rate of uptake by plants and soils • To avoid irreversible climate change restorative development to rebuild forests, grasslands and wetlands and their soils is not an option • It is an essential imperative!
  17. 17. Let us begin NOW!

×