Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?
According to Rattan Lal, director of Ohio State University's Carbon
Management and Sequestration Center, the world's cultivated soils have
lost between 50 and 70 percent of their original carbon stock, much of
which has oxidized upon exposure to air to become CO2. Now, armed with
rapidly expanding knowledge about carbon sequestration in soils,
researchers are studying how land restoration programs in places like
the former North American prairie, the North China Plain, and even the
parched interior of Australia might help put carbon back into the soil.
Absent carbon and critical microbes, soil becomes mere dirt, a process
of deterioration that's been rampant around the globe. Many scientists
say that regenerative agricultural practices can turn back the carbon
clock, reducing atmospheric CO2 while also boosting soil productivity
and increasing resilience to floods and drought. Such regenerative
techniques include planting fields year-round in crops or other cover,
and agroforestry that combines crops, trees, and animal
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