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Benjamin Z. Houlton | Carbon Dioxide Removal: Enhanced Weathering As a Billion Ton Solution?

Monday, February 22, 2021 at 2:45pm

Virtual Event

Holding Earth's climate to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of modern global warming is critical for food and national security, economic growth, infrastructure, and human health, welfare and justice on a worldwide scale. Although disagreement exists over the right mix of solutions, scenarios highlight that various combinations GHG emissions reductions (decarbonization of manufacturing, energy systems and transportation) and carbon dioxide removal technologies will be needed to meet the 1.5 degree C target in the 21st century. Here I discuss the role of enhanced weathering – the purposeful introduction of volcanic rock fines into agricultural soil – as a carbon dioxide removal strategy, with co-benefits for soil health, fertilizer use efficiency, and improved crop quality and yields. I focus on both the state of the science and issues and opportunities surrounding enhanced weathering as a billion-ton carbon dioxide removal strategy. I also present first year results from our large-scale demonstration project, known as the Working Lands Innovation Center, which is leveraging public-private-academic partnerships to examine the efficacy of enhanced weathering, biochar and manure-compost amendments across ~100 acres of cropland (corn, alfalfa, orchards) and managed rangeland soil in California.

Benjamin Z. Houlton (The Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) will present in the
2021 Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge Seminar Series:

  • Most Mondays, Spring Semester 2021, 2:45-4:00pm
  • Available as a Zoom Webinar

This university-wide seminar series is open to the public, and provides important views on the critical issue of climate change, drawing from many perspectives and disciplines. Experts from Cornell University and beyond present an overview of the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, and provide important economic, ethical, and policy insights on the issue. The seminar is being organized and sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

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Event Type



Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Sustainability




Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Peter Hess


Ben Houlton

Speaker Affiliation

Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University

Dept. Web Site

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