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#8943 - 08/26/06 06:36 AM Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
Here is an entire thread on 'Terra Preta' soils, which I feel has great possibilities to revolutionize sustainable agriculture into a major CO2 sequestration strategy. http://forums.hypography.com/earth-science/3451-terra-preta-9.html

I thought, I first read about these soils in " Botany of Desire " or "Guns,Germs,&Steel" but I could not find reference to them. I finely found the reference in "1491", but I did not realize their potential .

Also, Terra Preta was on the Agenda at this years world Soil Science Conference !
http://crops.confex.com/crops/wc2006/techprogram/P16274.HTM

If pre Columbian Indians could produce these soils up to 6 feet deep over 20% of the Amazon basin it seems that our energy and agricultural industries could also product them at scale.

Harnessing the work of this vast number of microbes and fungi changes the whole equation of EROEI for food and Bio fuels. I see this as the only sustainable agricultural strategy if we no longer have cheap hydrocarbons for fertilizer.

I've sent this thread to the researchers at M-Roots, who make Mycorisal fungus inoculations for acceleration of the reestablishment of the symbiotic fungal / root relationship. Here's the M-Roots site: http://www.rootsinc.com/

I would like to investigate if use of an M-Roots type fungus inoculants with a local compost, and Hydro-gels, would speed this super community of wee beasties in populating into their proper Soil horizon Carbon Condos.

The Georgia Inst. of Technology page:
http://www.energy.gatech.edu/presentations/dday.pdf

There is an ecology going on in these soils that is not completely understood, and if replicated and applied at scale would have multiple benefits for farmers and environmentalist.

Here is a great article that high lights this pyrolysis process , ( http://www.eprida.com/hydro/ ) which could use existing infrastructure to provide Charcoal sustainable Agriculture , Syn-Fuels, and a variation of this process would also work as well for H2 , Charcoal-Fertilizer, while sequestering CO2 from Coal fired plants to build soils at large scales , be sure to read the " See an initial analysis NEW " link of this technology to clean up Coal fired power plants.


Soil erosion, energy scarcity, excess greenhouse gas all answered through regenerative carbon management http://www.newfarm.org/columns/research_paul/2006/0106/charcoal.shtml
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

Top
.
#8944 - 09/14/06 03:21 AM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
HOT DAMN!!!!!........We made it into Nature!!

If this doesn't get Terra Preta some real traction , I don't know what will.

News Feature
Nature 442, 624-626(10 August 2006) | doi:10.1038/442624a; Published online 9 August 2006

Putting the carbon back: Black is the new green
Emma Marris1

Emma Marris is a Washington correspondent for Nature.


Top of pageAbstractOne way to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is to put it back in the ground. In the first of two News Features on carbon sequestration, Quirin Schiermeier asked when the world's coal-fired power plants will start storing away their carbon. In the second, Emma Marris joins the enthusiasts who think that enriching Earth's soils with charcoal can help avert global warming, reduce the need for fertilizers, and greatly increase the size of turnips.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v442/n7103/full/442624a.html

Erich J. Knight
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#8945 - 09/14/06 07:02 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
Uncle Al Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 540
Loc: Southern California
Agri-giant Archer-Daniels-Midland's profits are benefitted more by scarcity than by abundance.

Primary petroleum production is less than $5/bbl at the wellhead. $70/bl petroleum is a TERRORIST delight. America wallowing in cheap excess corn and soya for human and animal feeds is a disaster. Literally burn ag production then torque down the screws - drought, blight. Consumers will pay tenfold extra and more to fill their bellies and fuel tanks, oh yes indeed.

Socialism educates us that value is constant and cannot be created. If you have more then somebody must have less. Successful corporations produce as little as possible and take as much as possible. No insurance company will pay out Katrina claims. Enron was an indomitable engine of profitablilty.

If you want American agriculture to prosper, it must be destroyed. Contemporary foreign policy is the bellwether. Do you hear Haliburton complaining on its way to the bank?
_________________________
Uncle Al
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/
(Toxic URL! Unsafe for children and most mammals)
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz3.pdf

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#8946 - 09/18/06 04:43 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
Dear Uncle:

Can you be more cryptic ??

1) ADM will jump on this in a nano-second if the USA would get it's arse in gear to deal with the "externality" cost of burning fossil fuel with at least a cap & trade program like the EU has .

2) "value is constant and cannot be created." But harnessing the soil microbes and an untold menagerie of other bugs, fungi etc., to survive in deeper soil horizons provides a massive proletariat that the socialist never considered.

3) "If you want American agriculture to prosper, it must be destroyed." .........How about shepherding it instead , holding cap& trade as carrot & stick in front of such rapacious, corporate behemoths?

Erich
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#8947 - 09/22/06 05:14 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
BillyT , who is from Brazil, has vociferously contradicted the carbon negative aspects of Terra preta soil technology.

sciforums.com - Name your favourite BioFuel Technology in Earth Science
http://www.sciforums.com/showthread....84#post1152384

I have replied with quotes from the research I have seen, and am forming up a rebuttal to his latest reply:


Billy T
is at DarkVisitor.com (3,261 posts) Yesterday, 07:40 PM
report | reply
To Erich_knight
Thanks for links. I have now looked at http://www.energy.gatech.edu/presentations/dday.pdf

Its 54 pages are mainly two parts: bio fuel & & terra preta.

The bio-fuels section is OK, but is mainly hopes and dreams and ignores alcohol which is real, economic, and enviromentally friendly.

On terra preta section:

Page 45 gives the relative carbon release by many fuels, showing all, even solar photovotatics, make some release (and they are correct when producing them and set up in field is included) and only terra preta as carbon negative. For reasons I detailed, in earlier post they are not entirely honest here. Yes, terra preta stores for reasonably long times (less than C02 injection into aquifer or raising clams etc as I mentioned in prior post) but each pass thru the char plant sends less than half of the carbon input into char for terra preta. Thus, if instead of using methane producing land dump to process 200 tons of bio-waste and by avoiding oil use, removes and /or store more than 200 tons in about one year, the char plant will put more than 100 tons of CO2 into the air for every 100 tons it stores, and part of that dumped into the air may be posionous CO initially. Their terra preat enthusasm is causing dishonesty.

Probably the same reason they failed to even include alcohol (of any type) in their page 45 chart -it is better, cheaper and much quicker than char at least as world converts and stores carbon in growing cane and alcohol storage tanks. After 1000 years or so, char can store more carbon than cane and alcohol.

You have quick and strong enthusiasm for many new technology but IMHO are not critical enough in your examination of them. Let me respectively suggest that you compare the results of processing 100 tons of wood chips and old news paper by two different processes. (methane land fill plant vs. Terra preta production and storage plant) in terms of how much (include oil displacement) the CO2 in air is changed by both and which removes more carbon form the carbon cycle for 100 years. I think you will find that the terra preta plant does not reduce oil consumption (adds slightly to it) and removes less than 50 tons of carbon from the carbon cycle and is not economically feasible without tax payer support. I.e. loses on all counts compared to the methane producing land fill.

Later by edit: I have visited the other two links now - not much new or different from first and I again not the almost activie ingnoring of ethanol and methane land fill alternatives. Also I know little about it, but is it not possible that Brazil's terra preta is natural, not man made? Obvious nature can make coincentrated carbon deposits (we call hem coal). Obviously vegitation in some areas, like Brazil, grows so fast and dies that it burries earlier half rotten vegitation. etc. Fact that some brokne potteryis found in it etc is not proof that it ws intentional made made soild addative. Perhaps tribal man's only role was to agee to sue one location as the dump. Back then it would not have old TV, tires, bottles and batteries, just vegitation and some pottery chards. The vegitation would generate heat (have you ever opened a big compost pile?) and with inadequate oxygen be largely reduced to carbon and oils (call that char) I like this natural carbon deposit theory alternative as I know peat is good for making scotch

Last edited by Billy T : Yesterday at 10:05 PM
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#8948 - 10/06/06 04:19 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
"Begetting a virtuous cycle" , I particularly like these quotes in this
14 Aug article:

Published on 14 Aug 2006 by WorldChanging. Archived on 14 Aug 2006.
Terra Preta: black is the new green by David Zaks and Chad Monfreda


This piece was originally published on Worldchanging.com, "the world's
leading sustainability blog."


http://www.energybulletin.net/19281.html


"Claims for biochar's capacity to capture carbon sound almost
audacious. Johannes Lehmann, soil scientist and author of Amazonian
Dark Earths: Origin, Properties, Management, believes that a strategy
combining biochar with biofuels could ultimately offset 9.5 billion
tons of carbon per year-an amount equal to the total current fossil
fuel emissions! "


And:


"Terra preta's full beauty appears in this closed loop. Unlike
traditional sequestration rates that follow diminishing marginal
returns-aquifers fill up, forests mature-practices based on terra preta
see increasing returns. Terra preta doubles or even triples crop
yields. More growth means more terra preta, begetting a virtuous cycle.
While a global rollout of terra preta is still a ways away, it heralds
yet another transformation of waste into resources. "


This is an interesting "FLash Carbonization" process. I've sent Dr Antal the Terra preta links and asked if he has considered this profound, but simple, some what orphaned, process that can provide Bio-fuels and fertility too.

http://www.hnei.hawaii.edu/bio.r3.asp#flashcarb


And the home page:


http://www.hnei.hawaii.edu/biocarbon.asp


Biocarbons (charcoal)
Consider the following riddle:


I am renewable;
I am a chemical element;
as a fuel I am often less expensive ($/GJ) than natural gas;
my energy density (GJ/m3) can exceed that of ethanol or LPG;
and my combustion does not add to the CO2 in the atmosphere;
I am easily stored and safe to transport;
I clean the water you drink and the air you breathe;
Plants grow best in soils that are enriched with me;
I am a key ingredient in the production of semiconductors;
When eaten I settle an upset stomach and clean the intestines; and
No one is afraid of me!
What am I?


(if you don't know, please find the answer at the bottom of this page).


The Table below lists the current prices of conventional fossil fuels
and their renewable alternatives. Observe that at its current price,
without any tax incentives or other government subsidies, charcoal is
cost-competitive with alternative fossil fuels. In fact, charcoal is
the only renewable fuel that is now cost competitive with fossil fuels.
Remarkably, at its current price (equal to oil at about $7/GJ) the
production of charcoal is very profitable. This fact is well-known to
charcoal producers, but not to the general public.


FUEL PRICES Fossil Renewable
Coal See note 1 Charcoal $3-8/GJ
Oil $3-11/GJ Ethanol $14/GJ
Natural gas $2-12/GJ Hydrogen $18-24/GJ


Note 1: because of its high content of mercury, sulfur, and other
noxious elements and compounds, the price of coal is not comparable to
the other (relatively clean) fuels listed. To be comparable, the price
of coal should include the necessary cleanup of these noxious materials
(especially mercury) at the outlet of the powerplant. Unfortunately,
reliable data on the cleanup costs are not easily available.


In addition to the fact that charcoal is cost-competitive with fossil
fuels, the markets for charcoal are more diverse (and potentially
larger) than those open to any other fuel. What other fuel enjoys
markets as a potting soil, health food, water purifier, soil amendment,
air purifier, metallurgical reductant, and cooking fuel?


Furthermore, landfills in the State of Hawaii are overburdened. The
Table below illustrates the amount of charcoal ("black gold") that can
be manufactured annually by the Flash Carbonization? process from
each county's waste stream. Note that the current wholesale price of
charcoal ($246 per ton) imported to the USA is equivalent to oil at
$46/bbl on an energy basis. The production of "black gold" from
Hawaii's green wastes could become a $50 million per year (or more)
business for a visionary entrepreneur.


For these reasons, biocarbons (i.e., charcoals) are an important
element of HNEI's overall R&D programs. The ancient technology of
charcoal manufacture has seen dramatic recent improvements in HNEI's
Renewable Resources Research Laboratory (R3Lab). Work continues on
optimizing reaction conditions for using the Flash Carbonization?
process with biomass. UH Flash Carbonization? process patents are
being actively licensed. Research efforts are also continuing on
biocarbon fuel cell concepts.

(Answer to riddle: charcoal!)


Erich J. Knight
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#8949 - 10/09/06 05:24 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
In another forum a poster characterized me as a chief preacher in the Terra Preta Church.

I shall take on this mantel, and here is my first sermon:

The Terra Preta Prayer

Our Carbon who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name
By kingdom come, thy will be done, IN the Earth to make it Heaven.
It will give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our atmospheric trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against the Kyoto protocols
And lead us not into fossil fuel temptation, but diliver us from it's evil
low as we walk through the valley of the shadow of Global Warming,
I will feel no evil, your Bio-fuels and fertile microbes will comfort me,
For thine is the fungal kingdom,
and the microbe power,
and the Sequestration Glory,
For ever and ever (well at least 2000 years)
AMEN

Erich J. Knight
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#8950 - 10/10/06 12:39 AM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
Anonymous
Unregistered


Amen! LOL!

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#8951 - 10/14/06 04:21 AM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
Here's a reply from Dr. Hodges at Virginia Tech:


"Erich:
I attended some of the sessions at the World Congress of Soil Science on Terra Preta and had perused Dr. Lehmann's page at Cornell early last spring. We do have ongoing work on both biomass production for biorenewable fuels and the use of pyrolysis here at Va Tech (biological systems engineering). Our nutrient management specialist, Dr. Rory Maguire will be working with them to explore the use of the "by-product" char as their production models increase in scale to the point that we have enough product to work with.
While overall this looks like something that could help us from an energy standpoint, in the "Soil" scheme of things, there are some down sides of pyrolysis/char utilization. Significant amount of N are lost from the biomass, resulting in a very low N content in the char. When applied to soil, this can upset carbon to nitrogen balance to the point that microbial populations are shocked, and crop yields are significantly reduced if not carefully managed. In addition, the fine ash needs to be incorporated into the soil via tillage, putting it in conflict with no-till or reduced tillage systems in crops - a practice which also helps sequester carbon and has many other environmental benefits. Bottom line - this is something we are aware of and it is on our research agenda.

Thanks for the information and the inquiry.

Steven"




I've sent Dr Antal the Terra preta links and asked if he has considered Amazon Dark Soils (ADS) .


Here's Dr. Antal reply:

"Dear Mr. Knight: over the past seven years my colleagues and I have written at least six proposals to initiate scientific studies of terra preta here at UH. None were funded. I suggest that you carry your message to your congressional representatives. Terra preta will not be developed if we continue to follow a business as usual appraoch. Best wishes, Michael.

Michael J. Antal, Jr.
Coral Industries Distinguished Professor of Renewable Energy Resources
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST)
1680 East-West Rd., POST 109
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, HI 96822
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#8952 - 11/01/06 02:19 AM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
After a brief search of Charcoal Wholesalers, The best price so far, for Ag-Grade Charcoal is, trucked from Missouri, $225/ton delivered 900 miles to Virginia, $125/ton at the Charcoal yard,


We need a grand convergence:
In academia; Engineering, agronomist, soil geologist,anthropologist, bio-chemist, mycologist, zoologist ..............................

In the Public sector; waste managers, Extension agents, Environmental engineers, Energy Policy makers,........................................

In the private Sector; corporate farms, fossil fuel generators, small farmers, and the few charcoal makers left (seems mostly in Missouri)

My efforts to promote this technology in my postings realy fall short compared to this by Dr. Danny Day at GIT:

http://www.eprida.com/hydro/yahoo2004.htm

" a global Manhattan project of
climate change.


What can you do? Read up on terra preta (some of the published works
made a part of the above patent application), look at references in
the Eprida website or convince yourself by testing. Grow your favorite
plant in two pots, one with 1/3 wood charcoal (soak this in fertilizer
for several days), 1/3 sand and 1/3 available soil. Plant the other
with your normal method for potting plants. Fertilize and watch them
grow. Watch it for three seasons and note the differences. (Many have
noted their best results in the second year as microbial populations
increase) Alternately, use a microbe/fungi inoculation to speed the
response.

Then tell everyone you know.Even if we can't stop avoid the climate
shift we will begun to build an awareness of a solution. If we broaden
the understanding that we can produce carbon negative fuels, scrub
fossil fuel exhaust of pollutants and C02, reverse the effect of
mining our soil, depleting soil carbon, trace minerals and losing
agricultural productivity then we will effect many generations to
come. In our lifetime, a 2000-year-old secret is being reborn and its
timeliness could never have been more appropriate. It now up to this
generation to embrace a plan to work with nature to restore lost soil
carbon and rebuild the incredible life at work in our soils. Working
together, we can achieve the possible."
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#8953 - 11/22/06 07:49 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
Of all the Energy/Climate solutions I've seen, short of a silver bullet like Fusion or Nano-tech Solar or Thermo-electric, This integrated energy strategy offered by Terra Preta Soil technology may provide the only path to sustain our agricultural and fossil fueled power
structure without climate degradation, A wholistic approach make winners out of all the many parties involved.

After a little more checking on the availability of Agricultural grade charcoal, ( dust to 1/2 inch,
high lignin feed stock, 4%- 7% moisture, and the lower the cook temperature the better.)

Kingsford Charcoal, may occasionally, at their retorts in West VA , over produce for their bricket manufacture use and may have loads available.

A.M. Leonard , a landscape supplier has 50 lb bags for $70

The Best small scale supply is the grommet "Natural Charcoals", no binders, chemicals, or coal, you do have to grind it up.

The low cook tempts ( 400-700 F) I understand to be important because what is not completely pyrolysised helps the microorganisms populate the small spaces in the char

Brickets are cooked 1500 F

Orchid growers use 20% char in the medium for Lady slippers


I am a landscape design/builder, with other interest in Bio-fuels. I found this Terra Preta work a few months ago and have been posting it around to science forums, local academics, soil science people, local farmers, and authors of relevant news stories.
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#8954 - 11/23/06 08:44 AM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Hi Eric,
I'm not certain, nor can I find this on the Web,
but I seem to remember that a few seeds were planted in the Moon dust, sometime after its return. The findings were, that the seeds actually germinated stronger and better than control seeds in sterilised Earth soil.

You could look for growing using low pressure, which is also quite interesting.
http://www.universetoday.com/2006/10/10/gardening-for-the-moon/
_________________________
.

.
"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#8955 - 12/08/06 06:17 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
The upcoming International Agrichar Initiative (IAI) conference is to be held at Terrigal, NSW, Australia in 2007. ( www.iaiconference.org )

I spoke with the author of a TP story in Solar Today , Ron Larson ,
http://www.solartoday.org/2006/nov_dec06/Chairs_CornerND06.pdf
he said he spoke with a major National Geographic editor-who is preparing a big article on TP. but Doesn't know when it will come out
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#17278 - 12/16/06 11:29 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere [Re: erich knight]
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
WOW.............This is the first I've seen of a pyrolysis process like Dr. Danny Day's on the market.

Dr. Day at GIT said these guys are going for large scale systems:

http://www.bestenergies.com/companies/bestpyrolysis.html



Edited by erich knight (12/16/06 11:30 PM)
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#17382 - 12/20/06 02:50 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere [Re: erich knight]
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
A writer/Bio-Dynamic farmer, Allan Balliett contacted me about my postings on TP.
His interest in TP for his own operations, and his persistent will , has lead to him being granted an interview with none other than Charles C. Mann , author of "1491". Here are some Questions and Suggestions I sent for his interview
He is writing the story for Acres USA
Acres U.S.A. -- A Voice for Eco-Agriculture


Questions:
1. Is Mr. Mann aware of Danny Day's Eprida work, that they are a social purpose firm, designing equipment and a business model that will not cost the farmer anything out of pocket and create a many fold increase in rural high pay employment.

And this commercial , larger industrial scale effort of a similar closed-loop pyrolysis system now on the market:
BEST Pyrolysis, Inc. | Slow Pyrolysis - Biomass - Clean Energy - Renewable Energy - Char - green coal - pelletized fuel - syngas for electrical generation - carbon credits - increases rural jobs and construction development


2. Given that, as Lehmann at Cornell points out, "systems such as Day's are the only way to make a fuel that is actually carbon negative". and that " a strategy combining biochar with biofuels could ultimately offset 9.5 billion tons of carbon per year-an amount equal to the total current fossil fuel emissions! "

What does Mr Mann suggest to implement the grand convergence we need for this technology to be brought front and center?:

In academia; among Engineers, agronomist, soil geologist,anthropologist, bio-chemist, mycologist, andzoologist ..............................?

In the Public sector; among waste managers, Extension agents, Environmental engineers, and Energy Policy makers,........................................?

In the private Sector; among corporate farms, fossil fuel producers, fossil fuel power generators, small farmers, and the few charcoal makers left.........................?



3. Does Mr. Mann know of any updated estimates of the total mass of soil flora and fauna?

This is the only one I have found , from 1998, only covering bacteria and is inclusive of marine sediments:

First-ever estimate of total bacteria on earth
ET 9/98: First-ever estimate of total bacteria on earth



SUGGESTIONS:

In E. O. Wilson's "The Future of Life" he opens the book with a letter to Thoreau updating him on our current understanding of the nature of the ecology of the soils at Walden Pond.

xvi / Prologue
" These arthropods are the giants of the microcosm (if you will allow me to continue what has turned into a short lecture). Creatures their size are present in dozens-hundreds, if an ant or termite colony is presents. But these are comparatively trivial numbers. If you focus down by a power of ten in size, enough to pick out animals barely visible to the naked eye, the numbers jump to thousands. Nematode and enchytraied pot worms, mites, springtails, pauropods, diplurans, symphylans, and tardigrades seethe in the underground. Scattered out on a white ground cloth, each crawling speck becomes a full-blown animal. Together they are far more striking and divers in appearance than snakes, mice, sparrows, and all the other vertebrates hereabouts combined. Their home is a labyrinth of miniature caves and walls of rotting vegetable debris cross-strung with ten yards of fungal threads. And they are just the surface of the fauna and flora at our feet. Keep going, keep magnifying until the eye penetrates microscopic water films on grains of sand, and there you will find ten billion bacteria in a thimbleful of soil and frass. You will have reached the energy base of the decomposer world as we understand it 150 years after you sojourn in Walden Woods."

This microcosm needs to be shown to the public. I suggest that Mr. Mann use his influence to convince an ecologically-minded Hollywood mogul to produce a DVD to add to his book jacket. A computer-generated film highlighting this dynamic ecology like those done of the flora and fauna of the Jurassic and Ice Age periods that you may have seen on the Science channels.
Here is an example that gives a great perspective on the scale of things, although not a video, but you get my point :
Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You - Secret Worlds: The Universe Within - Interactive Java Tutorial



GOOD LUCK with the interview!!

Erich
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#17398 - 12/20/06 10:57 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere [Re: erich knight]
Amaranth Rose II Offline

Superstar

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 962
Loc: Southeast Nebraska, USA
Erich,
Did you mean to include links with your posting? If so, it didn't work for me.
_________________________
If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose


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#17449 - 12/23/06 04:17 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere [Re: Amaranth Rose II]
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
First-ever estimate of total bacteria on earth
http://www.sdearthtimes.com/et0998/et0998s8.html

Here is an example that gives a great perspective on the scale of things, although not a video, but you get my point :
Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You - Secret Worlds: The Universe Within
http://www.micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/index.html


A writer/Bio-Dynamic farmer, Allan Balliett is writing the story for Acres USA, doing an interview with Charles Mann ("1491")
Acres U.S.A. -- A Voice for Eco-Agriculture
http://www.acresusa.com/magazines/magazine.htm


Ron Larson's TP story
http://www.solartoday.org/2006/nov_dec06/Chairs_CornerND06.pdf
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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#17454 - 12/23/06 09:07 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere [Re: erich knight]
Wolfman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 264
Loc: Pago Pago, American Samoa
Somebody could be in for a Nobel Prize for this. When I was in Central America, I couldn't help but be saddened by the state of the Rain Forests in Belize, Guatemala and, to a lesser extent, Honduras. They've been clearing the Forest in an attempt to raise cattle. But the resulting soil (they call it marl) is so deficient in nutrients that grass can barely survive. Plus, they were observing a moratorium on cutting Mahogany Trees. You could cut and burn everything except Mahogany. So this is what you saw travelling along the road- Whispy grass (not lush Savanna) fighting for it's life with a few skinny cattle every mile or so hiding from the relentless sun in the shade of a big Mahogany Tree. Pitiful. Tragic.
Terra Preta might turn things around in those areas.

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#17456 - 12/23/06 09:25 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere [Re: Wolfman]
terrytnewzealand Offline
Megastar

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
I remember reading years ago something to the effect that in tropical forests nutrients tend to become concentrated in the vegetation. Lush forest may be growing on nothing more than the nutrients released by decaying vegetation. If the forest is burned the nutrients fly off into the atmosphere leaving the soil impoverished. This may help explain what is happening in Central America.

Certainly if no solution can be found to feeding the population in the tropics adequately we're collectively in trouble. I'm reminded of Dean Swift's comment in "Gulliver's Travels":

'And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.'

For more from that genius see:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jonathan_swift.html


Edited by terrytnewzealand (12/23/06 09:32 PM)

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#17532 - 12/30/06 08:59 PM Re: Terra Preta Soils to Save the Biosphere [Re: terrytnewzealand]
erich knight Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 142
Loc: Virginia
RE: Nature Article -- the link given will not allow access without being a subscriber to Nature.

I posted it Before Nature started requiring a subscribing membership, here is a link to the original pdf version. The pdf version is still accessible without a membership.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v442/n7103/pdf/442624a.pdf
_________________________
Erich J. Knight

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