Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • Icon for: Janet Barclay

    Janet Barclay

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 11:33 a.m.

    I like your strategy to establish carbon sequestration in a region in the early stages of industrialization. Land use decisions are often complicated. Can you say more about the current use of this “unused arable land” (is it forested, grasslands, etc) and how you would balance growing trees for carbon sequestration with increasing needs to grow food for human consumption?

  • Icon for: Patrick Barber

    Patrick Barber

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 04:58 p.m.

    Much of this unused arable land is from former forested areas that where cleared for agriculture. Growing food for the increasing human consumption must be the first priority. This means that the majority of the land should be set aside for the projected population in 50 years. The remainder of the land would be used for carbon sequestration. Furthermore, depending on locations high carbon sequestering plants could be used instead of the carbon sequestering trees to allow for crop rotation.

  • Icon for: Gillian Puttick

    Gillian Puttick

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.

    I like your selection of high carbon sink trees for maximum sequestration. How would you deal with what should happen once trees have reached their capacity, and are no longer sequestering CO2 at a fast enough rate?

  • Icon for: Patrick Barber

    Patrick Barber

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 05:20 p.m.

    This would not be an issue as because as trees age they accumulate biomass at an increasing rate. This means that older trees would sequester more CO2 than younger trees would sequester.

  • Icon for: Constance Roco

    Constance Roco

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 02:32 p.m.

    Cool idea! African soils are known to not always have the proper amount of nutrients needed for plant/crop growth. Going along the same lines with the previous question, what do you think would be a limiting nutrient in the soils for tree growth?

  • Icon for: Patrick Barber

    Patrick Barber

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 05:27 p.m.

    Nitrogen and phosphorous are the main limiting nutrients. Deforestation and poor farmer practices has resulted in high levels of soil erosion. The planting of trees for carbon sequestration would reduce soil erosion and organic fertilizers could be used to restore the soil with nitrogen and phosphorous.

  • June 10, 2015 | 03:22 a.m.

    Wonderful idea! I’m curious as to how the implementation would go forward? What kind of education system/training scheme do you foresee to educate local stakeholders in the necessary skill-sets to plant and oversee the new forests and on the global importance of the task?

  • Icon for: Patrick Barber

    Patrick Barber

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:55 a.m.

    For implementation carbon sequestering districts would be formed. These districts will cover around 150 sq miles each. Each district will have at one or more overseer(determined by the amount of land dedicated for carbon sequestration) dedicated to teaching and training stakeholders in proper farming techniques to maximize carbon sequestration. Additionally, every 6 months a randomly assigned inspector will investigate 20 districts over a 2 month period. The random assignment of inspectors will significantly reduce the potential for corruption and will give an outsiders view on the success of each district.

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Presentation Discussion

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Icon for: Patrick Barber

PATRICK BARBER

Carbon Sequestration
11th Grade

Advantages of Tree Carbon Sequestration in Africa

The carbon dioxide currently residing in the atmosphere is the leading cause of climate change. For there to be a reduction in carbon dioxide’s effect on the climate carbon dioxide emissions need to be reduced and the more importantly the removal of carbon dioxide needs to be addressed.
Plant life especially trees serve as carbon sinks for removing carbon from the atmosphere and back into plant life and soil. Unfortunately, the growing of this plant life requires large tracks of arable land and plentiful water sources. Africa has the most unused arable land in the world but it lacks adequate water irrigation systems. Yet, this project should take place in Africa as it would economically benefit the continent and its inhabitants, with foreign governments providing the money and resources for the creation of irrigation systems and payments for the land on which to grow the trees. These irrigation projects would create jobs for the locals and providing a source of water for agriculture farming. Furthermore, Africa is in the early stages of industrialization which makes Africa the most strategic place for the placement of the trees as they would absorb the carbon dioxide directly from the new factories that come with industrialization. Additionally, the carbon dioxide sequestering trees would improve the soil quality, allowing for more variety of crops.
In conclusion, this project would reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, and also economically improving the land required creating a win-win situation.