Carbon sequestration in the soil

Carbon sequestration in the soil

Carbon and sequestration have become fashionable environmental “buzzwords”, they are repeated in television programs about forests and fires, one can find them in any nature or agricultural publication, and they even lurk in the social media and on You Tube. So let us examine carbon sequestration, expose it, and find out what it is all about.

Carbon in the soil (which is where it belongs) has been leached from the earths abused and cultivated croplands with the advent of mechanized industrial agriculture. It has been estimated that up to 50 to 70% of the worlds’ cultivated soils have lost most of their original carbon stocks due to exposure, most of the soil stored carbon became oxidised and was modified into atmospheric carbon dioxide (Co²).

Typical agricultural practices world over currently results in a loss of an estimated 20 billion tons of fertile topsoil every year, this is the same as the total land area of Greece, every year! This loss of topsoil represents a direct loss of soil stored carbon. Clearly there is currently no urgency to stop or reverse this trend because it continues unchecked. We hear of tropical forest restoration, the restoration of mangrove swamps and the mass planting of trees in the Sahel of Africa but never do we hear of large-scale soil erosion control.

Putting carbon back into the soil is one of the ways in which to help mitigate climate change, one of the causes of which is the continuing increase of atmospheric Co². Soil carbon sequestration must thus be an essential part of climate change mitigation, and this can be partly achieved by restoring degraded and eroded landscapes.The full article is for subscribed members only. To view the full article please subscribe. It’s FREE!Log In Register

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