Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2005
Publication Date: 5/20/2005
Citation: Reicosky, D.C. 2005. Alternatives to mitigate the greenhouse effect: Emission control by carbon sequestration. In: Proceedings of Plantio Direto E Meio Ambiente: Sequestro de Carbono E Qualidade da Agua, May 18-20, 2005, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. p. 20-28.
Technical Abstract: No-till farming and associated C-sequestration practices can improve water and air quality, enhance wildlife habitat, mitigate the greenhouse effect and possibly serve as an additional revenue source for farmers. Carbon sequestration alone can not solve the climate-change dilemma. As we search for technological advancements that allow us to create energy with less pollution and as we continue to research the cause and potential effects of climate change, it only makes sense that we enhance a natural process that reduces existing concentrations of greenhouse gases, particularly when this process also improves water quality, soil fertility and wildlife habitat. As management changes, benefits in soil properties and environmental quality might appear in several ways. The first is improved soil structure with surface structure becoming more stable and less prone to crusting and erosion. Water infiltration could reduce surface runoff. As SOM increases, soil water and nutrient capacity increase significantly. Crops will fare better during drought because infiltration and water-holding capacity have improved. Soil organic matter and the associated soil-biological population will increase vigor and numbers as crop rotations become diversified. Organic matter also may bind pesticides, suppress disease organisms and improve crop health and vigor as soil biological activity and diversity increase. Improvements can be expected in water quality as sediment and nutrient loads decline in surface water from better soil aggregation, agricultural productivity and air quality as dust, allergens and pathogens in the air decline. Accepting the challenge of maintaining food security by incorporating C storage in conservation planning demonstrates concern for our global resources and our willingness to work in harmony with nature. This concern presents a positive role for conservation agriculture that will have a major impact on global sustainability and our future quality of life.