Fall 2013

Volume 7, Issue 3


Fall masthead



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 our recovery

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

Biochar ResearchEarly field trial results look promising

YREA 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 all stakeholders.

Biochar tree trialsBesides 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 industry.

YREA plans to subsequently establish a non-profit biochar production venture, making biochar locally available.


Donate NowBecome a part of our climate change solution by supporting this important research. Please make a generous donation today.

The Newsletter of York Region Environmental Alliance - http://yrea.org


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