UC Berkeley team receives funding to promote carbon removal

The Center for Carbon Removal is an initiative of the Berkeley Energy & Climate Institute, which houses its offices on the fourth floor of Sutardja Dai Hall.
Tracy Lam/Staff
The Center for Carbon Removal is an initiative of the Berkeley Energy & Climate Institute, which houses its offices on the fourth floor of Sutardja Dai Hall.

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A group of UC Berkeley researchers launched a nonprofit organization Monday to “clean up” the carbon in the atmosphere as an innovative solution to climate change.

A UC Berkeley alumnus, a doctoral student and an undergraduate student received $150,000 in seed funding from the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute to launch the Center for Carbon Removal. Based in Sutardja Dai Hall, the center aims to curtail climate change through carbon removal, or negative emission, a method to actively capture carbon in the atmosphere.

Noah Deich, executive director and founder of the center, called this method an “untapped source of innovation” that could bring vast opportunities for developing clean technology.

One type of carbon-removal technology transforms biomass — plants, grasses and trees — into electricity and fuel while capturing the emissions, according to Daniel Sanchez, campus researcher of negative emissions and doctoral candidate in the Energy and Resources Group.

“Carbon dioxide removal can complement renewable energy and enable even deeper emissions reductions,” Sanchez said.

In addition to addressing climate change, carbon removal also brings solutions to agriculture and energy issues such as soil-quality improvement, efficient cooking in developing countries and energy production from biomass, said Giana Amador, campus undergraduate and research analyst at the center.

Amador said carbon removal is a “no-regret strategy” that could bring together new stakeholders, such as agricultural businesses, into conversations about climate change and create a “win-win situation.”

The team hopes to start its early initiatives with the funding, such as building an online knowledge hub with information about carbon removal, hosting events, and conducting research and analysis to inform businesses and policymakers about opportunities and challenges in the field.

Amy Aines, CEO and founder of Damianakes Communications and adviser of the center, said it will be a “big challenge” for Deich and others to bring people together for a common purpose.

Deich said the lack of awareness of carbon-removal technologies has been the greatest obstacle to their growth as an industry, as well as a lack of policies on and government investments in carbon removal on a mass scale.

“I am confident that the society will … be able to clean up the mess that we have made over the past decade of industrial activity, and the way to do that is with these technologies,” Deich said.

Contact Yuka Koshino at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @YukaKoshino.

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  • Brian Donovan

    Just stop the fossil emission and the earth will absorb the excess carbon in a couple decades.

    Waste to fuels will provide the hydrocarbons we need and the backup fuel for solar and wind.

  • Danceswithdachshunds

    But I want MORE CO2 in the air and a warmer earth as well because both are BETTER for life on this planet. There is both geologic and recent satellite data to support my assertion. 99% of the doom you CAGW scammers claim are gross exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright lies; the remaining 1% is far far outweighed by the benefits you willfully ignore.

    • Icarus62

      Let’s see what scientists have to say about that:

      “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”

      American Physical Society

      • Danceswithdachshunds

        Whoever wrote that would FAIL a lie detector test.

        HERE is the truth http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalGarden/

        “Between 1982 and 1999, 25 percent of the Earth’s vegetated area
        experienced increasing plant productivity—a total increase of about 6
        percent,” says Ramakrishna Nemani, the study’s lead scientist. “That
        increase occurred mainly in the tropics, and secondarily in high
        northern latitudes.”

        Your predictions:
        Acceleration of sea level rise? – fail
        Increase of strength and frequency of hurricanes? – fail
        Increase of strength and frequency of tornadoes? – fail
        Increase of desertification? – fail
        Increase of drought? – fail
        Mass climate migrations? – fail
        Widespread coral bleachng? – fail
        Shrinking rain forests? – fail

        What’s the AVERAGE temperature and CO2 earth has seen? http://geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

        • Icarus62

          Rate of global sea level rise has already quadrupled, in the space of a century –


          • Danceswithdachshunds

            Then I’m certain those jacka$$es at columbia can explain why no such change in rate happened in NYC?


            HMMM??? YOU LOSE!!!

            They SPLICED data sets! They LIE through their teeth to get more and more and more FUNDING. They are just THIEVES.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            That is fiction – here is FACT http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8518750

            No appreciable change in rate at all. Oh wait, NYC is on a different planet than Columbia University…

          • Icarus62

            We know from historical and other data that there was effectively no global sea level rise in the last few thousand years, but now it’s rising at 3mm per year. At that rate we would have seen 6 metres of sea level rise since the Roman era, and we’ve seen effectively none until around the end of the 19th Century, so there has clearly been a lot of acceleration already.

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            YOU stated “Rate of global sea level rise has already quadrupled, in the space of a century”

            Explain WHY that is not evident in the tide gauge data from Battery Park? (You cannot because http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/SeaLevel/SL.1900-2015.gif is a complete fabrication used only by shills for climate alarmism. )

            “we’ve seen effectively none until around the end of the 19th Century” Absolute RUBBISH! There are mountains of archaeological evidence that sea level was HIGHER than now even into the late Roman era then dropped later.

            “The results indicate that during the Byzantine period, sea level at Caesarea was higher by about 30 cm than today.”

          • Icarus62

            Can you infer global sea level rise from one tide gauge?

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            Yes, from a single tide gauge I can easily infer that YOUR chart is a lie because if there really was acceleration it should show up on the tide gauge chart and it DOES NOT!

            How can anyone TRUST your lame alarmist chart of global sea level that plainly states it is using ADJUSTED data, is SPLICING data that was measured by two TOTALLY different means and originated from people who have a political/financial agenda to scare people? Like I said – give them a lie detector test and they will FAIL.

            Show me ANY tide gauge chart that has the same shape as the one from Columbia U.? How about Tuvalu? http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO70056/IDO70056SLI.pdf Ooops, sorry it only goes back to 1993 my bad…

          • Danceswithdachshunds

            Okay, that does it! I’m calling you on your statement:

            “We know from historical and other data that there was effectively no global sea level rise in the last few thousand years”

            Let’s SEE this “historical and other data” you are crowing about? Put up or shut up. Name your sources, I already linked a science paper refuting your claim and then you … did what you usually do when refuted – nothing.

      • Danceswithdachshunds

        And … “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

        What about THIS incontrovertible evidence?

        • Icarus62

          Incontrovertible evidence that you are a numpty :-)