What is Carbon Sequestration–Really?
Everyone knows the race to resolve climate change is also one to tackle rising atmospheric carbon. But when it gets down to the nitty gritty, do we actually know what and how these mechanisms operate? In this article we’ll dive a little deeper into one specific process–nature-based carbon sequestration–in order to outline not only the benefits of this process but also its overall effectivity in addressing our global warming predicament.
First, let’s consider the question: what is carbon sequestration? Carbon sequestration happens when atmospheric CO2 is extracted and pumped into long-term depositories such as plants, soils, geological formations or the ocean. This can usually occur through photosynthesis in which carbon dioxide is pulled out of the air, broken down then partly stored, with the remaining being bound together with water and sunlight to create glucose that releases oxygen back into our world. The transformation of this once detrimental greenhouse gas into a critical life-sustaining element serves as a means of maintaining atmospheric stability that reduces global warming. It was in 2004 that carbon sequestration first began to receive significant buzz due to the GHG emissions reduction order established by the Kyoto Protocol. Since then, many methods from natural to engineered processes have been developed to address our worldwide climate crisis.
Many scientists expect sequestration to play a pivotal role in the fight against climate change due to the numerous benefits of nature-based carbon sequestration. It’s cost-effective, adaptive, and also comes with a slew of co-benefits. However, the market is currently unscaled and suffers from a great deal of bottlenecks - several of which Albo Climate is directly solving. The lack of scale is a critical issue and one the Albo is actively addressing by developing a cutting-edge AI tool for measuring carbon sequestration with a goal of helping remove 100M tons of CO2 by 2025. By applying satellite imagery to deep learning AI, Albo is automating the quantification of carbon stocks and sequestration in above ground biomass (AGB) and in soil (in the form of soil organic carbon - SOC).
Carbon is an essential building block of life on Earth. Although its gaseous form poses a significant challenge to the sustainability of our world, it remains a valuable commodity that, when sequestered naturally, could play an important role in meeting global climate goals. But, it most likely won’t achieve this end until the development of a transparent, efficient and scaled market, capable of rewarding even small scale nature-based projects. To be successful we must go beyond creating projects that avoid negative impacts to our environmental systems. Rather, we must also pursue nature-based projects that actively prevent emissions and sequester CO2, and that also generate co-benefits that build climate resilience, advance sustainable livelihoods, and protect biodiversity. This is going to require innovation and collaboration at an international scale--with companies like Albo Climate, we can be optimistic that we’re already on the path forward.