Wednesday, August 02, 2017

How Scientists Predicted CO2 Would Breach 400ppm in 2016

Monthly mean CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa since 2010, also with observed and hindcast/forecast annual mean concentrations (black and orange stars and central solid lines). [Source: Betts et al (2016)] Click to Enlarge.
Dr Keith Shepherd is a principal soil scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Dr Rolf Sommer is a principal soil and climate change scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Together they lead the Restoring Degraded Landscapes research theme of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

How we manage soils is crucial to tackling climate change.  Today is Earth Overshoot Day, which aims to highlight the moment each year when our use of the planet’s resources tips into “overdraft”.  The day helps to highlight why restoring landscapes, particularly soils, has benefits for food security, livelihoods, and the climate.

The top meter of soils around the world contains about three times as much carbon as in our entire atmosphere.  This means that soils can be a double-edged sword for tackling climate change.

Land-use change and degradation, such as clearing land for farming, releases the carbon bound up in soils, adding to the CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere.  On the other hand, managing soils carefully and restoring their fertility means they can take up more carbon, helping to mitigate our CO2 emissions and thereby limiting climate change.

Read more at How Scientists Predicted CO2 Would Breach 400ppm in 2016

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