Climate Crisis Requires Ideal Plants
Can 'Supercharged' Plants Solve The Climate Crisis? Crops already suck up a lot of carbon dioxide. One scientist thinks they can do much more.
Ravi Agrawal/ Joanne Chory, July 20, 2019 (Foreign Policy)
“…Every year, humanity emits 37 gigatons of carbon dioxide; photosynthetic life can process and capture nearly half of that amount…[Salk Institute for Biological Studies botantist Joanne Chory is] creating plants that absorb more carbon dioxide—and then hold on to it for longer—than their wild cousins through a larger and deeper network of carbon-storing roots, creating so-called Ideal Plants…[The Harnessing Plants Initiative would genetically modify plants to create] a cost-effective and efficient way of actually pulling carbon dioxide down from the atmosphere and sequestering it down into the soil…
Our ecosystem can naturally take up 17 gigatons of [the 37 gigatons of the carbon dioxide now generated annually] in the soil and the ocean. But the other 20 gigatons is what’s been heating up the atmosphere and wreaking havoc with our weather systems…The Ideal Plant project [is working to make plants produce more suberin,] a compound that all plants make in their roots…[I]t’s the perfect carbon storage device…[The objective is to] make them about 2 percent more efficient at redistributing carbon than they are right now…[The scientists say pulling] down 10 percent of those 20 gigatons of effect is proven, incentives would be justified] for farmers who have crops that suck up carbon dioxide…” click here for more