Thursday, August 30, 2018

Improving Soil Quality Can Slow Global Warming

Better land management practices can sequester enough carbon to lower global temperatures.

Existing agricultural land management practices and currently managed land can help slow global warming. (Credit: Heather Dang) Click to Enlarge.
Low-tech ways of improving soil quality on farms and rangelands worldwide could pull significant amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and slow the pace of climate change, according to a new University of California, Berkeley, study.

The researchers found that well-established agricultural management practices such as planting cover crops, optimizing grazing and sowing legumes on rangelands, if instituted globally, could capture enough carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil to make a significant contribution to international global warming targets.

Their initial aim was to determine if such practices could reduce global temperatures at least 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18 degrees Fahrenheit).  This is one-tenth of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's goal of limiting the average global temperature increase between now and the year 2100 to 1 degree Celsius (1.8ºF), or 2" degrees Celsius (3.6ºF)" above temperatures before the industrial revolution.

When combined with aggressive carbon emission reductions -- the best scenario for limiting warming from climate change -- the study found that improved agricultural management could reduce global temperatures 0.26 degrees Celsius -- nearly half a degree Fahrenheit -- by 2100.

Read more at Improving Soil Quality Can Slow Global Warming

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