Shall we sit for a moment with a Puffin on this Earth Day, set aside for a moment our doom-ridden guilt and celebrate that we now know what must be done to save this place we love? Happy Earth Day from Eyes On Earth! (And thanks to the Puffins of the Shiant Isles of Scotland. Happy breeding for 2019!) #earthday
Seeing the Anthropocene. Grazing land accounts for 26% all ice-free land on the planet. So no wonder that cattle — and their methane-rich flatulence — get a lot of attention. The Drawdown Project ranks managed grazing at #19 in ways to impact climate change. (For more go to: http://www.drawdown.org)
IMPACT: By enhancing carbon sequestration compared to standard grazing practices, this solution can sequester 16.3 of carbon dioxide by 2050. Note that this does not reduce the 10 gigatons of methane that are emitted on that grazing land today. Growth in adoption of managed grazing practices would need to rise from 195 million acres to 1.1 billion acres over thirty years. Financial returns are $735 billion by 2050, on a $51 billion additional investment. #climatechange #anthropocene #cattle
Seeing the Anthropocene. Nearly 10,000 years of plant domestication has given mankind a rich cornucopia to draw upon. Good thing because switching to a plant rich is one of the best things we can do about climate change; the Drawdown Project ranks it #4. But first we have to save that biodiversity, something places like Seed Savers in Decorah, Iowa work hard to do.
From Project Drawdown “IMPACT: Using country-level data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, we estimate the growth in global food consumption by 2050, assuming that lower-income countries will consume more food overall and higher quantities of meat as economies grow. If 50 percent of the world’s population restricts their diet to a healthy 2,500 calories per day and reduces meat consumption overall, we estimate at least 26.7 gigatons of emissions could be avoided from dietary change alone. If avoided deforestation from land use change is included, an additional 39.3 gigatons of emissions could be avoided, making healthy, plant-rich diets one of the most impactful solutions at a total of 66 gigatons reduced.” @projectdrawdown @seed_savers_exchange #climatechange #anthropocene
Seeing the Anthropocene. Some theories connect the beginning of climate change with the arrival of paddy rice production in Asia as far back as 4,000 BCE. Methane release into the atmosphere grew rapidly. This agricultural expansion is part of the Anthropocene. Today the Drawdown Project believes improved rice production could reduce CO2 by 11.34 Gigatons by 2050. Drawdown pegs it as #24 in ways to fight climate change.
IMPACT: Improved rice production involves improved soil, nutrient management, water use, and tillage practices. If improved rice production grows from 70 million acres to 218 million acres over thirty years, another 11.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced. Farmers could realize $519 billion in additional profits. @projectdrawdown #rice #agriculture #climatechange
Little wonder these archeologists and soil scientist were so interested in this example of soil known as terra preta in the Amazon of Brazil. This anthropogenic soil was created by farming communities between 450 BCE and 950 CE. Besides being fertile it sequesters carbon for centuries. Putting this indigenous knowledge to work on climate change is why Drawdown Project included this biochar in their rankings. #72 Biochar. IMPACT: Biochar can produce 0.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions reductions by 2050. This analysis draws on total lifecycle assessments of the many ways biochar prevents and sequesters greenhouse gases, while assuming the nascent biochar industry is limited by the availability of global biomass feedstocks. Photo by @JimRichardsonNG #climatechange @projectdrawdown @natgeo #soil
Hard to believe but in the 1920’s the Coon Creek watershed of Wisconsin had the worst soil erosion in America. Terracing, strip cropping and woodland restoration worked — spectacularly. Project Drawdown lists farmland restoration as #23 in solid things we can do about climate change. “IMPACT: Currently, 1 billion acres of farmland have been abandoned due to land degradation. We estimate that by 2050 424 million acres could be restored and converted to regenerative agriculture, or other productive, carbon-friendly farming systems, for a combined emissions impact of 14.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide. This solution could provide a financial return of $1.3 trillion over three decades on an investment of $72 billion, while producing an additional 9.5 billion tons of food.” Photo by @JimRichardsonNG #climatechange @projectdrawdown @natgeo #erosion
Focus on Drawdown Project: #13 Peatlands. Climate Change inspires seemingly relentless doom. In Project Drawdown, editor Paul Hawken offers something new: climate change solutions, ranked by effectiveness. The book offers a path forward. And there are stunning surprises. This Instagram series looks at a few and quotes Drawdown on each. For more go to: http://www.drawdown.org
IMPACT: If the total protected area of peatlands increases from 7.9 million acres to 608 million acres by 2050, or 67 percent of all currently intact peatlands, 21.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions can be avoided. At 608 million acres, peatlands would hold a protected stock of 336 gigatons of carbon, or roughly 1,230 gigtons of carbon dioxide if released into the atmosphere. Though peatlands comprise only 3 percent of global land area, they are the most organic-rich soils; their degradation would release an enormous amount of carbon. Photo by @JimRichardsonNG of the Forsinard Flows of northern Scotland. #climatechange @projectdrawdown @natgeo
One hundred years ago in 1919 we reached the maximum number of draft horses in the U.S. “In 1900 the land planted to supply the high-quality feed for record numbers of draft animals accounted for about 25% of all cultivated U.S. cropland,” says Vaclav Smil in Harvesting the Biosphere. One quarter of all farm land to supply the energy for agriculture. Today in the U.S. we use 40% of the corn crop to produce ethanol. Either way, a lot of land not producing food for people. #agriculture #energy @vaclavsmil #anthropocene
Antarctic scenes at Port Lockroy are bittersweet, contrasting grand scenery, penguins nesting all around — and the sad legacy of the whaling that nearly drove blue whales to extinction. The bay was used by whaling ships from 1911 to 1931. Today it is a popular stop for cruise ships which bring 18,000 visitors a year during the five month season. @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection #whaling #antarctica #anthropocene Photo by @jimrichardsonng
Water in the All-American Canal crossing the desert on its way to Southern California is a stark reminder of how precious — and politically volatile — water is. It is the largest irrigation canal in the world and makes 630,000 acres of former desert in the Imperial Valley a rich agricultural area using water from the Colorado River. If you want to find the money, follow the water. #coloradoriver #irrigation #anthropocene #desert #agriculture @natgeo @planetforward