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She's trying to help us

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

Carbon is a crazy complex thing.

I've been reading a lot about carbon sequestration - grabbing carbon out of the air and putting it back into the earth where it originally came from, and where most of it should live.

In doing so I came across a single sentence (that I now can't find) which sent me off on a tangent.

Subduction is a process that if we could safely replicate the outcome, we might be in a good place - it draws megatonnes of carbon out of the air and puts it back into the ground.

Subduction is where two tectonic plates grate against each other, and one slips underneath the other. Aside from creating earthquakes, this process sucks stuff down into the sea of magma that the plates are floating on - including carbon from the air. This is also the place where volcanoes and diamonds begin.

These subduction zones create natural laboratories where researchers are able to measure and trace the amount of carbon pulled down.

It's a natural process that's been happening for millions of years. Earth had the carbon thing pretty well figured out, but we've messed it up. She's still doing her subduction thing to help us, but we have to do our bit too.

Sequestration is the human-made equivalent of this process - it's how we're dealing with the carbon that's already in the air. One of the things we'll need more of, are projects that replicate the outcome (without the earthquakes) of drawing bucketloads of carbon out of the air.

But actually, what we really, truly need is just to produce less of it.

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