YGBFkiddinme, Low Emissions Grass?

From Nature Magazine this pearl of pulchritude:

“The solution, says Michael Peters, an agronomist at CIAT and leader of the team that has developed the low-emissions grass, is to encourage ammonium to persist in the soil for longer, by suppressing microbial activity. Farmers can buy synthetic nitrification inhibitors such as dicyandiamide, but these are not ideal. The chemicals can be washed away, and it would be impossible to target them to where they are needed most — where grazing animals have left urine and dung that act as extra fertilizer.”

Enter, stage left, a clown, to explain that when we fertilize our agricultural plants, many of which such as corn, wheat, etc., are C4 grasses; we also fertilize the soil microbes.

Note to clown: photosynthesizing organisms also produce some level of Carbon dioxide by their own respiration. Why do you think they go to the trouble of photosynthesis?

But this misguided effort seems targeted at Nitrous oxide. Microbes eat rocks. They have permeated the crust of the earth as least as deep as our deepest boreholes. They will definitely exploit any extra ammonium nitrate we give them. While nitrous oxide in a jar may be 300 times more efficient at absorbing and radiating infrared photons than Carbon dioxide, its concentration in the atmosphere is over 1000 times lower.

Exit clown, stage right.

1_13763_P1020346Low Emission Grass

Photo Credit: Nature

There seems to be some effort to find other greenhouse gasses to villanize as it becomes increasingly apparent that Carbon dioxide has been ridiculously oversold. Yet the failure of the lower atmosphere to warm for the last decade and a half casts doubt on the harmfulness of all greenhouse gasses.

These folks have found a grass from Africa that produces a natural microbicide. This is not surprising as many plants produce chemicals, including herbicides to inhibit competition.

What is alarming is the inclination to interfere with the decomposition of ungulate excrement. The relationship between ungulates and grasses has been stable since they coevolved 30 million years ago and has been a staple of the ecosystem since grasslands expanded as the earth fell into the glacial period we live in about 2.5 million years ago.

Enter stage right, a scientist, with heavy glasses, remaining near the curtain, to mention that the cyanide based fungicide, dicyandiamide, might have deleterious consequences.

Exit scientist.

Please see Salvation from Cows.

BTW, nitrous oxide is laughing gas. LOLOL

This entry was posted in Biology, Carbon Cycle, Climate, Climate Change, History of Life, Microbial Dark Matter, Paleoclimate, Salvation from Cows, What's going on here? and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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