Biochar: The Original Soil Amendment to Mitigate Climate Change

25 October 2013

The man heaves another shovelful of dirt out of the 2-meter deep pit. The sun blazes overhead, an eerie stillness blanketing the midday jungle. The two dozen people gathered around peer eagerly over the edge. Along the vertical face of the soil pit, pottery shards intermingled with blackened bits of charred material are clearly visible. The crowd murmurs a small gasp as the man passes up a handful of soil. Someone swats at a mosquito buzzing incessantly as a machete is unsheathed and used to separate a bit of pottery from the blackish clumps in the dirt.

Black Earth of The Amazon
This may sound like a scene from the latest Indiana Jones movie, but in fact, it was a recent excursion of researchers, environmentalists, and journalists to investigate the phenomenon known as terra preta do indio­­—Portuguese for “black earth of the Indian”—in the Brazilian Amazon.

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