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Title: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

item Follett, Ronald

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2010
Publication Date: 1/8/2010
Citation: Follett, R.F. 2010. Soil Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 74:345-346.

Interpretive Summary: Several recent studies have indicated that farm, ranch, and forest lands can provide substantially more GHG mitigation by adjusting the type and intensity of agricultural production. Additional agricultural mitigation would be relatively cost effective when compared to mitigation options in other sectors. EPA (2008) estimates that 10-25% of current US GHG emissions could be offset through a combination of actions in forestry and agriculture, including: land conversions, reduced tillage, afforestation, improved forest management, improved nutrient management, manure management, and bioenergy production.

Technical Abstract: The net CO2 sequestration from land use and land-use change increased from ~738 Tg CO2 equivalence in 1990 to ~884 Tg CO2 equivalence in 2006. The C sequestration in mineral soils was largely due to the conversion of cropland to permanent pastures and hay production, reduction in summer fallow in semi-arid areas, increased adoption of conservation tillage practices, and increased application of organic fertilizers (i.e., manure and sewage sludge) to agricultural lands (EPA 2008). In addition, much of the total increase was due to accumulation in forest C stocks, particularly in aboveground and belowground tree biomass. [GRACENet publication]