Saturday, March 07, 2009

"Optical Illusion"

Many conventional scientists fall into an ‘optical illusion’ when considering the claims of Carbon Farmers about sequestration rates. They start with a belief in a small amount of carbon per hectare. But the calculation must step up the value twice: First from Carbon to Carbon Dioxide Equivalent, a multiplication exercise:

C x 3.67 = CO2-e.

The second calculation is also a multiplication, from one hectare to the total area:

CO2-e/ha/yr x Total ha = Total CO2-e/yr.

When 0.15C/ha can become 27,500tCO-e, no wonder scientists cry foul. But if they want to take part in a conversation which is not strictly scientific, they must observe the language in which the conversation is being conducted. In the arid zone, 50,000ha is not unusual.

If we extrapolate the lowest score of 0.15tonnes Carbon/h/yr over half the area used for Agriculture (225m ha) we shall see if soil, which already has Critical Mass, can also have Massive Capability:

0.15tC/ha x 3.67 = 0.5505tCO2-e

225m ha x 0.5505tCO2-e = 123.8mtCO2-e.

The represents about a quarter of Australian emissions per year.

Beware the Optical Illusion when calculating Soil Carbon.

1 comment:

Bhuvan Chand said...

nice article.