“When short-term biomass is burned, such as annual crops, the amount of carbon generated can be taken up quickly by the growing of new plants. But when the biomass comes from wood and trees, not only can the regrowing and thus the recapture of carbon take years or decades, but also, the carbon equation must take into consideration carbon the trees would have naturally stored if left untouched.” Earth Institute, Columbia University
The hypothesis that “carbon generated (by burnt biomass) can be quickly taken up by the growing of new plants” has been accepted without question. It was proposed once upon a time by a naked physicist. It is now the consensus. Although it is usual for a hypothesis to receive both scrutiny and testing, I can find no evidence, anywhere at all, that this hypothesis has been either questioned, or tested. Yet it is central to the IPCC and the Paris Accord.
I propose that it is a fallacy, which (applied) will contribute to the destruction of human cultures.
The Earth Institute and others calculate other critical influences, such as land use change, arable techniques, regrowth time and so on, but the consensus holds firmly to the Naked Physicist’s central fallacy.
Any farmer or gardener has the means to refute the hypothesis.
If we grow a crop in season one, returning no biomass to the soil, then the harvest in season two will be smaller. Harvest in season three will be considerably smaller – in season four, five six – it will tend towards the negligible. As soil fauna (soil carbon) shrinks, so the crop shrinks, along with both its leaf area and photosynthetic power.
We can maintain cropping and photosynthesis by importing biomass from a neighbouring cycle. (such as local sewage for a local willow coppice) In doing so, we transfer our problem elsewhere. (We diminish a food cycle to feed an energy cycle) The problem remains.
Of course, some assume the import of manufactured fertilisers (from finite holes in the ground). Artificial fertilisers will continue to shrink soil biomass. Their problems, (run-off and gasification) are also noted by IPCC.
Four questions –
1 – Can anyone defend the Naked Physicist’s hypothesis?
2 – Has the hypothesis been tested?
3 – Why have we accepted the solution of a physicist, when the problem was never in the physicist’s realm?
4 – Who is/was the Naked Physicist?