Carbon sequestration refers to the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere or other sources and preventing it from being released back into the atmosphere. It is an essential part of efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Natural Carbon Sequestration: This involves the natural processes by which carbon is naturally absorbed and stored. Trees, plants, and other photosynthetic organisms capture CO2 during photosynthesis and store it in their biomass. Oceans also act as carbon sinks, absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Afforestation and Reforestation: Planting trees on land that was previously devoid of forests (afforestation) or replacing trees in deforested areas (reforestation) can help absorb CO2 and store it in the growing biomass.
Forest Management: Proper forest management techniques, such as reducing deforestation, minimising tree harvesting, and promoting sustainable practices, can enhance carbon sequestration in forests.
Soil Carbon Sequestration: Certain agricultural practices, such as conservation tillage, cover cropping, and crop rotation, can increase carbon sequestration in soils. Carbon can be stored in the form of organic matter, such as decomposed plant and animal residues.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): This method involves capturing CO2 emissions from large industrial sources, such as power plants or factories, before they are released into the atmosphere. The captured CO2 is then transported and injected into underground geological formations for long-term storage, such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or deep saline aquifers.
Direct Air Capture (DAC): DAC involves the use of specialised technologies to directly capture CO2 from the ambient air. The captured CO2 can be stored underground or utilised in various industrial processes.
These methods aim to reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, as high levels of CO2 contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Carbon sequestration plays a crucial role in efforts to mitigate climate change and transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future.