Science on Soil Carbon and Climate Change

This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Profile photo of Crystal Huang Crystal Huang 11 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #3159
    Profile photo of Crystal Huang Crystal Huang 
    Keymaster

    Just found the recently published scientific paper about soil carbon as a solution for climate change. It is important to recognize that the analysis *does not* undermine the importance of better understanding, protecting, and building carbon in soils. Below is a link and snippet of the blog.

    Soil Carbon Can’t Fix Climate Change By Itself—But It Needs to Be Part of the Solution

    A rigorous study just published in the prestigious journal Science argues that soil alone cannot be can be counted on to save us from climate change. Yet the stark analysis does not undermine the importance of better understanding, protecting, and building carbon in soils (“carbon farming”). In fact, the findings reinforce the need for soil carbon science and action to remain priorities, especially when it comes to agriculture.

    The study in a nutshell:  Scientists from the University of California used 1-meter (3.28 ft) deep soil samples from 157 places around the world, which were analyzed with sophisticated carbon dating methods to improve the way that soil carbon is represented in some of the best Earth System Models. They found that models may have been overestimating how much carbon would likely be stored in soils under climate change, particularly in response to the so-called “CO2 fertilization effect” (the effect of higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations on fostering plant growth). The findings suggested that the size of the resulting soil carbon “sink” that will be available soon enough to effectively mitigate climate change is lower than previously estimated (by anywhere from 5.9% to 87%). They conclude that models need to represent soil carbon more accurately when simulating climate change scenarios, and emphasized the importance of emissions reduction strategies.

  • #3160
    Profile photo of Crystal Huang Crystal Huang 
    Keymaster

    Here are some cool call to action with deadline:

    Fortunately, many new initiatives, like the USDA’s Climate Building Blocks and a new White House Call to Action, recognize the importance of keeping soil carbon in the conversation.

    (deadline Nov 10)

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/08/01/call-action-save-one-americas-most-important-natural-resources

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