Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2009
Publication Date: 3/3/2009
Citation: Skinner, R.H. 2009. Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agricultural Systems [abstract]. Northeast Pasture Consortium Abstract. p. 1. Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: Through proper management, agricultural systems (cropland, pasture, and forest) have the ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it in soils and wood products. The carbon thus sequestered can help slow the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide currently occurring as a result of burning fossil fuels, and could help reduce the potential impacts of future global warming. Several entities, both national and international, are now, or in the future will offer payments for sequestered carbon. This poster will present results from an extensive literature review comparing the carbon sequestration potential of various agricultural systems including conventional and reduced tillage row crops, pastures and native grasslands, and forested lands. Globally, terrestrial ecosystems sequester 100 to 300 kg C/ha/yr (90 to 270 lbs C/acre/yr). Sequestration rates on individual farms can be much higher, but they can also be negative under some management practices and climatic conditions. Agricultural carbon sequestration could offset about 15% of current fossil fuel emission but perhaps only 5% or less of future emissions.