Biological Sequestration (Biosequestration): Concept, Importance and Need
Biosequestration is the process of capturing and storing carbon in living organisms such as plants and algae. It is not a new process, but a process that was responsible for the formation of the extensive coal and oil deposits which are now being burned. The term 'biosequestration' was coined for one of the solutions to help balance greenhouse gas and carbon emissions as part of climate change policy. Here, we are giving the concept of Biological Sequestration (Biosequestration), its need and importance for general awareness.
Importance of Biological Sequestration (Biosequestration)
From Industrial Revolution to the Modern World, around 136,000 million tons (tCO2e) of greenhouse gas emissions have come from land clearing for agriculture and livestock production. Even in the contemporary world, more than 13% emission comes from human activities like the combustion of fossil fuels etc. Hence, Biosequestration concept is a shower of relief for the rehabilitation of cleared and degraded land.
1. It could sequester relatively large volumes of carbon at comparatively low cost
2. It will protect or improve the soils, water resources, habitat, and biodiversity
3. It enhance the rural income
4. It promotes more sustainable agriculture and forestry practices.
5. Land with more carbon in it tends to be more productive than similar land with less carbon. More carbon usually means more biological activity and this has many beneficial effects on production.
Why do we need Biological Sequestration (Biosequestration)?
Biological (or terrestrial) sequestration involves the net removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by plants and micro-organisms and its storage in vegetative biomass and in soils. But we must know how it will remove greenhouse gases: It is carbon opportunities for the rehabilitation of cleared and degraded land by regrowth of the woody vegetation on land because as the trees grow they will sequester carbon and leave less carbon in the atmosphere.
Biological Sequestration (Biosequestration) and Photosynthesis
Atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased from about 280 ppm in 1750 to 383 ppm in 2007 and is increasing at an average rate of 2 ppm (parts per million) per year. Hence, the process of Biosequestration can be enhanced by improving photosynthetic efficiency through modification in the plant genes by RuBisCO (Ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase). Through this modification, the catalytic and/or oxygenation activity of photosynthesis in the plant will enhance.
Biological Sequestration (Biosequestration) and Climate Change Policy
Biosequestration assists human beings to increase their collective and individual contributions to the essential resources of the biosphere. The policy case for biosequestration overlaps with principles of ecology, sustainability and sustainable development, as well as biosphere, biodiversity and ecosystem protection, environmental ethics, climate ethics and natural conservation.
Over Industrialisation created havoc situation in the emission of Carbon-di-oxide. Hence, Industrialists and Environmentalist came forward for offsetting the greenhouse gas production by the means of biosequestration. In Australia, university researchers are engineering algae to produce biofuels (hydrogen and biodiesel oils) and investigating whether this process can be used to biosequester carbon. There are several new bioenergy (biofuel) technologies like cellulosic ethanol biorefineries (using stems and branches of most plants including crop residues such as corn stalks, wheat straw and rice straw) are being promoted because they have the added advantage of biosequestration of Carbon dioxide.
The United Nations with the collaboration of FAO, UNDP and UNEP started programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme) under which a trust fund established in July 2008 allows donors to pool resources to generate the requisite transfer flow of resources to significantly reduce global emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
In nutshell, global warming and the emission of carbon dioxide can only achieved through the emission reduction policy and biological Sequestration. The modified photosynthesis (Biosequestration) and the regrowth of the vegetation is the only way to reduce the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, otherwise we have to move into more complex process of carbon trading rule to curb the serious effect of global warming.