New Research Finds Climate Solutions in the Soil
This is a guest post from Daniel Kane, a soil scientist and agroecologist who researches soil carbon cycles, regenerative agriculture, and sustainable food systems. Last year, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions, LLC, jointly published a paper (“Carbon Sequestration Potential on Agricultural Lands: A Review of Current Science and Available Practices”) that Daniel authored, exploring how soil carbon is sequestered, the state of soil carbon research, and the debate on its potential. In this post Daniel provides an overview of recent findings on the potential for agricultural management practices to mitigate climate change. Our follow up piece tomorrow will highlight policy opportunities related to climate change and agriculture.
Earlier this month, the journal Nature published alarming new data about the potential for much higher sea level rise this century due to melting in Antarctica than previously predicted, and NASA reported that 2015 was the hottest year on record. As the impacts of climate change are increasingly apparent, the need to not only reduce emissions but to also draw carbon out of the atmosphere has become more urgent. One potential solution is literally underfoot.
Last week, the journal Nature published a review that was all about the role of soils in addressing climate change, and earlier this year NSAC and Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions published a similar paper detailing different agricultural practices with the potential to build carbon in the soil. Both papers highlight a growing body of evidence that with proper management, soils could play an important role in battling climate change.