Climate Change? What Climate Change?

ffh82vms-139165852581% of Australians think the Earth’s climate is changing, but of those only 47% think that human activity is the cause  as opposed to natural variations in temperature (39%), according to a recent report by CSIRO.

So what are we doing about it? According to Zoe Leviston a research scientist with CSIRO “more than half our participants (57.1%) were “self-enhancing”: they tended to overestimate how much environmental action they were taking compared to others.

The way we perceive ourselves and others can influence how we respond to contested issues, including climate change. However, these perceptions are subject to cognitive biases or distortions as we attempt to make sense of the world around us.

Misperceptions about what others think about climate change extend to misperceptions about what others do.”

For some easy to implement ideas on how you can contribute positively to mitigating climate change the EPA site is worth a look.

For a larger scale plan though PolyGenomX’s Paulownia offers a great solution.

Biomass Plantations on the Increase

biomass forestry

biomass forestry

Demand for renewable energy sources is increasing in the Southeastern United States, with projections for growth in supply via bio-energy forest plantations as a  supplement woody biomass from other sources such as logging residues.

According to Dr Jeff Wright, “In the southern U.S., projections are for an increase of up to 25 million “new” tons of woody biomass demand for bioenergy. To supply this woody biomass demand will require purpose grown plantations of various species including pine, eucalypts, sweetgum, hybrid poplar and cottonwood, amongst others. Forest plantation yields can be 8-15 green tons/acre/year on rotations of 5-12 years. Utilization of this renewable and sustainable biomass resource will be as feedstock “designed” for a large number of bio-energy applications.

In the particular case of forestry, purpose grown plantations for biomass feedstock give an opportunity for cost savings, a sustainable resource for bio- energy and an economic opportunity for forest landowners.

Bio-energy plantations include, amongst others, pine, cottonwood, hybrid poplar, sweetgum and eucalypts. Much of the emphasis has been on hardwood plantations due to their ability to coppice, continued genetic improvement programs as well as the opportunity to combine fast growth and wood properties in selected clones. In the specific case of Eucalyptus and Populus, there are a large number of commercial planting programs in countries outside the U.S.

A number of feedstock characteristics are important in bio-energy hardwood plantations. Firstly, the plantation hardwood species has to be adapted to the soil and climate conditions. The hardwood feedstock has to be acceptable in harvesting, field processing and ultimately for conversion to bio-energy. Lastly, the growing (stumpage), harvest, haul and preparation costs have to be favorable compared to other biomass options. In the Southeastern US there are a limited number of hardwood species that can be competitive for forest plantation biomass for bio-energy production.”

With its proven track record with Eucalypts and an upcoming project working on elite species of Eucalypts for a Renewable energies client, PolyGenomX can confidently say that its capability to increase biomass outputs by at least 30% would be hugely beneficial to biomass producers in the forestry sector in the US.

Rapid Techniques for Screening Polyploid Trees

Rapid Techniques for Screening Polyploid Trees

How PGX’s Plants Reduce GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Emissions

Each hectare of polygenomic plants uses an average 100 tonnes more CO2 each year than the equivalent area of standard (diploid) plants.  Accordingly, we estimate that 10 million hectares of our plants will use 1 billion tonnes EXTRA CO2 every year.

If those plants are used for renewable energy, they prevent the release of a TOTAL 6 billion tonnes of “old fossil fuel carbon” into our atmosphere, or 1 billion tonnes MORE than can be hoped from the next best currently available renewable feed stocks.

Why?

Most plants grow by cycling CO2 into their leaves where sunlight powers chemical reactions that crack the CO2 into Carbon (which becomes plant sugars, the basic building blocks for all growth) and Oxygen (which is expelled as waste).

Standard plants are not 100% “carbon efficient”. One cycle in three or four they expend energy but fail to crack a CO2 molecule.  These energy-wasting cycles are called “photo-respiration”.

Our plants all but eliminate photo-respiration and so use up to 50% more atmospheric carbon for the same expenditure of time, energy, water and nutrients, accelerating growth and so using more-on-more carbon.

Faster-growing stress-tolerant disease-resistant plants which yield more in less time for no increase in inputs are more profitable and so many agricultural and silvicultural enterprises will progressively adopt polygenomic plants as their standard.

As fields and forests transition to our plants, more and more CO2 will be drawn from the atmosphere and locked into plant growth while more oxygen and moisture will be recycled into the atmosphere.