Current Event: “Climat-smart soils” may help balance the carbon budget

This idea of shifting our land use towards a more carbon sequestering source sounds promising, and understanding that in order to gain public support and implement policies we must gain knowledge on all of the affected systems. The natural system, habitats and animals, as well as the socio-economic system, and political systems will allow for a pooling of multidisciplinary action to come up with an effective implementation plan. The idea that we can use and manipulate our soils to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere than they are currently doing, is just one way policy makers and scientists are proposing we approach the problems we are facing with increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere. In this article they mention avoiding the further degradation of native ecosystems, while restoring marginal lands to perennial forests and grasslands. While these sound good to scientist they also propose how this soil management system will be able to improve agricultural practices by tightening the nitrogen cycle in soils and providing for more fertile soils, improvements in soil fertility and crop production, as well as reducing erosion and runoff of excess fertilizers. Looking at all of the things encompassed in this article it sounds like it would be an effective strategy in not only sequestering more CO2 from the atmosphere, but also helping to eliminate some of the second and third effects of this excess CO2 in the earth’s system. Improving overall functioning of ecosystems, agricultural practices, and our human relationship to the land.


-Ashley Tims

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