“Car. Bun. Seek. West. Race. Shun.”
Both phrases say the same thing, but the latter is far more efficient.
Similarly, both ordinary plants and genetically modified plants sequester carbon, but scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge National Laboratories assert that the latter can now be far more efficient.
The UN defines carbon sequestration as “the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in a reservoir. “
Plants are a natural carbon reservoir. During photosynthesis they incorporate atmospheric carbon into their biomass. This long-lived form of carbon eventually ends up in the soil and can remain out of circulation for hundreds of years.
The study was published Friday in the October issue of BioScience, and included four strategies for boosting biological carbon sequestration through the genetic modification of plants:
1. Improving the light absorption efficiency of plants
2. Increasing the amount of carbon plant sends to their roots
3. Improving stress-resistance, allowing plants to grow on marginal land
4. Increasing crop and bioenergy yields
With such improved efficiency, scientists anticipate the removal of several billion tons of additional carbon from the atmosphere annually, which may slow the accumulation of greenhouse gases and mitigate global warming.