Assessing how landscapes can sequester carbon


Canadian researchers working on policy, greenhouse gas reduction, and carbon dynamics are looking to quantify the carbon sequestering potential of different landscapes.

At the University of Alberta, in collaboration with federal and provincial governments, Dr. Vic Adamowicz has been tasked with researching the carbon capture potential of natural areas.

Adamowicz, an environmental economist, and his team were asked to evaluate the carbon sequestration potential nature has in all sectors. For Canada to achieve the carbon reduction goals all options must be considered. Researchers looked across the country and have estimated that they can achieve about a six per cent reduction in carbon using nature-based carbon solutions.

What does nature-based carbon solutions (NBCS) mean? Adamowicz says it can be anything from planting tress, different agronomic practices, wetland restoration and more. These are all examples of things that either capture more carbon or release less carbon into the atmosphere. Adamowicz says the overall definition of an NBCS is that it alleviates climate change concerns and reduces greenhouse gases.

As with all solutions, there are limitations to NBCS. Adamowicz and his team investigated the feasibility of nature based carbon sequestration to see were the limitations were. Adamowicz also considered the costs associated with different solutions, such as wetland restoration and adjusting crop rotations. Finally, Adamowicz looked at the logistics of projects like this and getting policies set up to support the efforts.

Adamowicz  says they are working together with the Government of Canada across six different ministries to carryout this research, making policy conversations complex. Adamowicz says they are taking a multifaceted approach to making decisions and ensuring to involve people from a natural science and social science perspective.

Check out the full conversation, below:

The national report on Adamowicz’ and team’s project can be found here.

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