AirToob Lightning

Tags  →  national geographic

Our Good Earth from National Geographic
Biochar is an ancient process that is making a comeback. It does many things at once: starting with most urban, agricultural or forestry biomass residues, it can generate energy, enrich soil, and actually remove carbon from the atmosphere. It is not merely carbon-neutral, but carbon-negative.

The biochar process is akin to a process utilized thousands of years ago in the Amazon Basin, where islands of rich, fertile soils called Terra Preta ("dark earth") soils were created through a process similar to pyrolysis (one example of which is the production of charcoal by burning wood with restricted oxygen).

The beautiful picture above comes from a superb online National Geographic article (sadly no longer available) called "Our Good Earth", which introduced me to this process, and which provided me with one of the many positive topics in my "Environment and Technology" page (which has just had a major update).

The modern biochar process is summarized below. It is interesting (for me, anyway) to compare it with the food recycling process that generates both fertilizer and energy, now in widespread use in the UK.




[Food recycling in the UK (from my web site)]
[The International Biochar Initiative]
[Recent links on the Biochar process]
[Terra Preta, the "Black Revolution"]



A very nice image by the Lithuanian photographer Olegas Kurasovas, whose other work is well worth exploring

Also available in high-res as desktop wallpaper (click the wallpaper tag for more of those)




The author, Troy Lim, writes:

"This was taken in December 2010 during my first trip to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. It took me four days, waiting in the cold weather an hour before sunrise. On the fourth day, everything fell together. The gorgeous sunrise, wind direction, and snow geese all took off right in front of my lens. "



The author, James Haskins, writes:

"This bear had been fishing in the river on this morning. It climbed onto the bank and laid down in the grass. This photo was taken about an hour after sunrise just as the sun was starting to clear the trees. The temperature was near the dew point and steam was rising off its body. It didn’t seem at all concerned by the fishermen in the river or the photographer on the bank."


If you like this...

["Bear Feet" by Bill Lockhart - Grizzlies snoozing in the sun]



A shot of one of the many thermal pools in Yellowstone National Park © by Danielle Goldstein (available as desktop wallpaper)



"White Pocket, Arizona" by Richard Barnes (worth seeing full size, and worth checking out Richard's other work)

One of many great landscapes to be found on the pages of lexlu4 - thanks, Lex!


[If you're looking for more desktop wallpaper, click the wallpaper tag above...]



Sunlight and stones create an undulating effect on a Canadian river bottom.

Very nice desktop wallpaper, photographed for National Geographic by Paul Nicklen, whose other work is well worth checking out.




Biochar is an ancient process that is making a comeback. It does many things at once: starting with most urban, agricultural or forestry biomass residues, it can generate energy, enrich soil, and actually remove carbon from the atmosphere. It is not merely carbon-neutral, but carbon-negative.

The biochar process is akin to a process utilized thousands of years ago in the Amazon Basin, where islands of rich, fertile soils called Terra Preta ("dark earth") soils were created through a process similar to pyrolysis (one example of which is the production of charcoal by burning wood with restricted oxygen).

The beautiful picture at the top of this post comes from a superb online National Geographic article called "Our Good Earth". The whole article is worth reading, but you will find a description of Terra Preta ("dark earth") soils starting on this page of the article.

The modern Biochar process is summarized below. Visit The International Biochar Initiative for some great information on the process and the many projects that are using it.




[More links on the Biochar process]
[Terra Preta, the "Black Revolution"]
[My "Environment and Technology" page]