GR: Carbon storage in soils equates to fertility. Over most of the Earth’s land surfaces, grazing and farming lead to loss of topsoil, the upper soil layer that holds the carbon. It will be very difficult to improve the current wasteful practices since the growing human population is urgently demanding more meat and potatoes. Unlike disaster movies with a positive conclusion, our waste of the soil will lead to a bad ending. Unlike the alien invaders in the movie Independence Day, we humans cannot move on when our resources are exhausted.
Study quantifies climate benefits of sustainable land use
Switching to more sustainable forms of land use management could significantly boost the carbon-storing capacity of the planet’s soils — by up to 8 billion tons of greenhouse gases, scientists reported in a new study. Previous research shows that soils currently lock away around 2.4 trillion tonnes of greenhouse gases, which are stored underground as stable organic matter.
The measures identified by the researchers include growing crops with deeper root systems and using charcoal-based composts. Widespread adoption sustainable land use practices and and application of best available technologies could help soils store up to 80 percent of greenhouse gases released by fossil fuel combustion, the researchers calculated.
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