Thursday, October 16, 2008

Carbon in Cornfields: all altitudes and latitudes considered

Well, the bottles are all lined up in a row for next weekend. A high school student and an undergraduate (now anonymous, but not for long) will be joining me heading out to Coshocton in the quest to understand the link between agricultural practices and the storage and loss of carbon from soil. But, I can't help but think of the cornfields high in the Andes, hanging from the sides of mountains. I'm looking at this landscape wondering how many hours of manually tilling and toiling would be needed to grow an acre of corn? And what is the rapid increase of temperatures at high altitudes and human industrial spewing of nitrate doing to those fields now.....???