Letters to the Editor

We need a safety net for climate

There is an old joke that someone jumped off the 110-story Sears Tower in Chicago and lived to tell about it. The jumper told people on the 100th floor, as well as those on the 90th, 80th, 70th … “Humanity is in need of a safety net to hold us back from free fall into climate chaos,” notes the Biochar Journal.

There are about 5 billion tons of methane in the atmosphere. Estimates vary widely but a common estimate of methane stored in the Arctic Ocean is over 500 billion tons. It is stored in methane hydrates, sediments, and free gas under pressure. It is capped by a permafrost safety zone, which has already thawed in some areas and is beginning to thaw in others. Methane has 150 to 200 times the global warming potential as C02 on a yearly basis.

There are recent observations by European Copernicus of methane over North America, including Iowa, reaching levels of 2400 ppb. Above 1250 ppb and methane heats up the earth. There is a study that estimates about 55 trillion kilograms of carbon is stored in the soil. It is in the process of coming up.

There is a “near silver” bullet to provide a safety net from the free fall into climate chaos. It is a long shot. Biochar, which is pyrolyzed biomass, can sequester carbon, reduce carbon in the atmosphere, and prevent methane from escaping from the soil. But it has to be used.

Harold H. Hensel

Cedar Rapids

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Want to join the conversation?

Consider subscribing to TheGazette.com and participate in discussing the important issues to our community with other Gazette subscribers.

Already a Gazette or TheGazette.com subscriber? Just login here with your account email and password.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.