Biochar - a climate change mitigating tool
Where we are.....
THE GOOD NEWS IS farmers markets are burgeoning,
local food is readily available through Community Supported
Agriculture (CSA) and there is an upsurge of urban agriculture
projects. Foodland Ontario produce is prominently showcased at
our neighbourhood grocer.
The bad news is climate change is real. No longer being
denied, governments grapple with measures to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions (GHGE) while we are well into the era of peak oil
where consumption demands outweigh production.
Our soil will be a source of
The connection between our food and our soil
is evident, but we are now making a connection between our soil
and climate change. Biochar, a soil improvement material, has the
ability to capture carbon and sequester it in the earth for over
1000 years - a useful tool in our fight to mitigate climate
change. A recent study has estimated that 12% of current annual
anthropogenic GHGE could be reduced through the use of biochar:
Cornell Chronicle, Cornell University http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2010/08/biochar-could-mitigate-climate-change-study-shows
Early field trial results look
has initiated biochar research field trials to gather scientific
data in an effort to replicate in Ontario the positive results
found worldwide. Our three year pilot project collaboration
includes the University of Guelph to provide research expertise.
Results from research data collected on the effectiveness of
biochar on Ontario soil will be made available for the benefit of
Besides addressing climate change, the
biochar research being done on urban forests in Markham and
Vaughan will help us gauge the efficacy of systemic induced
resistance (SIR) of trees to withstand insects and diseases.
Through these findings we can assess biochar's place in the fight
against the devastation of Emerald Ash Borers and other pests.
Research knowledge gathered in urban tree studies will be helpful
to fruit growers and to tree growers in the horticultural
YREA plans to subsequently establish a
non-profit biochar production venture, making biochar locally