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Soil carbon sequestration



Climatic Change (2007) 80:1–3 DOI 10.1007/s10584-006-9174-7 GUEST EDITORIAL Bruce A. McCarl & F. Blaine Metting & Charles Rice Published online: 21 December 2006 # Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006 1 Introduction Carbon cycles globally among three distinct pools: the atmosphere, the ocean, and terrestrial ecosystems. The atmosphere currently contains 770 Pg (Pg = 1 Gton) of carbon with nearly all of it as CO2. The oceans store about 40,000 Pg and terrestrial systems contain 2,000 Pg, most of which resides in the soil (1,500 Pg). Approximately half of all soil carbon in managed ecosystems has been lost to the atmosphere during the past two centuries due to cultivation. This loss now represents an opportunity for carbon storage. Soil carbon storage potential depends on climate (temperature and precipitation), the nature of parent geological materials (i.e., texture and mineralogy), vegetation (crop) type and land management practices. Net sequestration occurs with management systems that increase plant material returned to the soil, reduce carbon loss or both. Increased plant input can be achieved in a number of ways including selection of high-residue-producing crops, residue retention via lessened tillage intensity, use of crop rotations, and improved management of nutrients and water.



Climatic ChangeSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 1, 2007

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-006-9174-7

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