News and Events

News and Events

Oxford Geoengineering Programme

Geoengineering Seminar Series Event: The Promise of Plants to 'Lock Away' Carbon

Wednesday 8th February 2012

Location: The Oxford Martin School

Seminar Summary:

Can we use plants to draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then lock it away in forms that will prevent it being re-released? Biochar and afforestation are two related geoengineering techniques that aim to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by growing biomass and storing it by converting it into a charcoal (biochar) or allowing the amount of biomass to accumulate (afforestation). This seminar involved three panelists who made brief presentations on the science of biochar, the climatological impacts of large-scale afforestation, and potential side-effects of large scale implementation of biochar as a means of carbon sequestration. These presentations were followed by a question and answer period with the audience and discussion amongst the participants.

Panel:

  • Dr Ondrej Masek, Lecturer in Engineering Assessment of Biochar, UK Biochar Research Centre, University of Edinburgh
  • Almuth Ernsting, Co-Director, Biofuelwatch (Participated remotely via Webex from Scotland)
  • Dr Abigail Swann, Biology Department and Atmospheric Sciences Department, University of Washington (Participated remotely via Webex from Boston)

This event was part of a seminar series: “The science, governance and ethics of climate intervention techniques.”

To watch the recording of this event please visit our Webex site (oxgeoeng.webex.com) and click "View Event Recordings" in the upper right hand side of the window.

You can also read a review of this event here.

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