Atmosphere

Balancing the Atmosphere With Algae

So, on the grasslands, blue green algae (part of this healthy soil crust in the Cariboo) pulls nitrogen from the sky and makes it available to plants.

So does the lichen on this rock, also one of the old ones that made the sky blue.

Bella Vista

Thing is, the soil crust is broken by ignorance, cattle and an invasion of non-native grasses, all of which give off carbon dioxide, which has become an atmospheric problem.

Note the cheatgrass, the dead lichen, and the eroded soil. No nitrogen fixing here!

So, think of it. Currently, the C02 level in the atmosphere is too high. Raising the oxygen level to balance it off by rejuvenating the soil crusts wouldn’t help, because the planet would burn, which would release more carbon. However, bringing more nitrogen to plants (they can’t draw it from the sky themselves), would increase their carbon storage abilities, and draw carbon out of the air. To do that, we could start by reducing cattle grazing, bringing back the crust and bringing back the bunchgrass. We could increase the carbon-holding capacity of our grasslands by 1000%, easy. In terms of the Okanagan, fixing the grassland is a good start at fixing the sky.

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