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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


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Title: Cropping systems to improve carbon sequesteration for mitigation of climate change

item Wang, Qingren
item Li, Yuncong
item Alva, Ashok

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2010
Publication Date: 9/1/2010
Citation: Wang, Q., Li, Y., Alva, A.K. 2010. Cropping Systems to Improve Carbon Sequesteration for Mitigation of Climate Change. Journal of Environmental Protection. 1:207-215.

Interpretive Summary: Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are major emmissions from agriculture which are referred to as greenhouse gasses. Increses in emissions of these gases may contribute to climate change. One strategy to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide is to capture these emissions by growing biomass and incorporation of this biobass into the soil, so that carbon from the atmosphere is stored in the soil. This process is termed as "Carbon Sequestration". This paper describes various practical and environmentally friendly strategies to enchance carbon sequestration. In addition to mitigating increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, this process also helps improve soil quality and crop productivity in low fertility soils.

Technical Abstract: The recent trend of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has led to an elevated concern and urgency to adopt effective measures for carbon (C) sequestration to mitigate the climate change. Among all GHGs, carbon dioxide (CO2) is most important one with the greatest concentration and strongest radiative forcing among all. Reducing the release of CO2 to the atmosphere through “green energy” technologies or fossil fuel energy alternatives, such as wind, solar and hydraulic energies, is a major challenge. However, removal of atmospheric CO2 by terrestrial ecosystems via C sequestration and converting the sequestered C into the soil organic C has provided a great opportunity with a promising potential for mitigation of GHG emission and climate change. Soil is an ideal reservoir for storage of organic C since soil organic C has been depleted from land misuse and inappropriate management of soil through the long history. To optimize the efficiency and effectiveness in C sequestration in agriculture, cropping systems such as crop rotation, intercropping, cover cropping, etc., play critical role by influencing optimal yield, total organic C sequestered with biomass accumulation and that remained in the soil. Indeed, there are multiple benefits of soil C sequestration. It can restore the degraded soil, enhance the land productivity, improve the diversity, protect the environment and reduce atmospheric CO2, thus, enhances migration of climate change.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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