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Is the climate change mitigation effect of enhanced silicate weathering governed by biological processes?

A number of negative emission technologies (NETs) have been proposed to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere, with enhanced silicate weathering (ESW) as a relatively new NET with considerable climate change mitigation potential. Models calibrated to ESW rates in lab experiments estimate the global potential for inorganic carbon sequestration by ESW at about 0.5–5 Gt CO2 year−1, suggesting ESW could be an important component of the future NETs mix. In real soils, however, weathering rates may differ strongly from lab conditions. Research on natural weathering has shown that biota such as plants, microbes, and macro-invertebrates can strongly ...