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What is carbon cycling?

The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. It is one of the most important cycles of the earth and allows for carbon to be recycled and reused throughout the biosphere and all of its organisms. The carbon cycle was initially discovered by Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier, and popularized by Humphry Davy.

Source:  Wikipedia

Here’s why Carbon Cycling has largely been destroyed – by our actions

Instead of encouraging a symbiotic relationship with the plant world, we have created a monoculture landscape, depleting resources and strangling yield potential along the way.

Currently, only eight per cent of the world’s land is productive. With the right motivation and investment, this could be as much as 75 per cent1. Higher yields across larger areas would enable vast quantities of carbon to be locked away in vegetation where its impact is no longer harmful. 

The global picture

Large-scale logging and excavation of fossil fuels, particularly in coastal areas, has left huge expanding deserts, incapable of supporting vegetation or processing carbon emissions. But desert sand can be converted back into soil by adding waste to restore the organic content.  

The Carbon Cycling solution for arid regions

In a nutshell, huge supertankers already transport oil from desert regions to the West, returning empty apart from seawater as ballast. In the meantime, we continue to dump large quantities of sewage and waste off-shore creating a growing pollution problem.

If the returning tankers took this waste back to the desert shores, millions of gallons of liquid nutrient would be made available to nourish and irrigate a coastal tree belt. 

Scientific support

The Agriculture and Environment Research Unit at the University of Hertfordshire has indicated that the proposal warrants further investigation.

Working in collaboration, a group of eminent scientists from various disciplines have undertaken to take part in a event at All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (APPCCG) on 18 November 2010. The event takes place on Social Enterprise Day  – part of Global Enterprise Week.

Time for action

Our hope is that, on hearing the overwhelming arguments for kickstarting Carbon Cycling,  policiticians, scientists and business will unite to press for a release of funds to explore and exploit this natural phenomenon.

The diversion of a few million pounds away from defence budgets and the pursuing of conflict could be enough to start a small scale demonstration of the Carbon Cycling concept.

The result – if Carbon Cycling were proven – would mean a massive improvement in our national security. The principles put forward by Carbon Cycling do not only benefit areas of the world suffering from desertification, they could be employed to alleviate a number of identified pressures from population growth and climate change*.

Research into Carbon Cycling would also meet the UK’s identified objectives* for scientific investment, namely:

  • To create new knowledge – research funding directly leads to the creation of new knowledge,
  • To create new businesses, improving business performance and attracting inward investment
  • To stimulate innovation in public policy and in UK businesses.

At the moment the only tangible answers to excess carbon are:

The long-term development of a “Low Carbon Economy”

The vast majority of, if not all, economic activity in Britain will have to reduce its carbon impact significantly.   The Department of Business Innovation and Skills:  Low Carbon Business Opportunities


Carbon sequestration (Carbon Capture and Storage)

The UK government’s recent decision  to fund  carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants  is seen as critical to meeting the UK’s legally binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.

Development and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is critical to this, as it has the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions from power stations.  The Department of Energy and Climate Change – Office of Carbon Capture and Storage.

Our message to government policy makers is simple

  1. Carbon is a natural resource.
  2. Don’t just dump it and hide it underground!
  3. Let us find ways to help nature capture it and put it back into the earth to provide vegetation. 
  • *Source:  HM Treasury and Infrastructure UK October 22 2010
    National Infrastructure Plan 2010:
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