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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #296011


Location: Range Management Research

Title: The role of carbon dust emission as a global source of atmospheric CO2

item CHAPPELL, ADRIAN - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item WEBB, NICHOLAS - New Mexico State University
item BUTLER, HARRY - University Of South Australia
item STRONG, HARRY - Griffiths University
item MCTAINSH, GRANT - Griffiths University
item LEYS, JOHN - New South Wales Agriculture
item VISCARRA ROSSEL, RAPHAEL - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2013
Publication Date: 5/27/2013
Citation: Chappell, A., Webb, N., Butler, H., Strong, H., Mctainsh, G., Leys, J., Viscarra Rossel, R. 2013. The role of carbon dust emission as a global source of atmospheric CO2 [abstract]. Soil Carbon Sequestration for Climate, Food Security and Ecosystem Services International Conference, May 27-29, 2013, Reykjavid, Iceland. p. 48.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion redistributes soil organic carbon (SOC) within terrestrial ecosystems, to the atmosphere and oceans. Dust export is an essential component of the carbon (C) and carbon dioxide (CO2) budget, because wind erosion contributes to the C cycle by selectively removing4 SOC from vast areas and transports C dust quickly offshore; augmenting the net loss of carbon from terrestrial systems. However, the contribution of wind erosion to rates of carbon release and sequestration is poorly understood. Here we show that SOC dust emission is omitted from national carbon accounting, is an under-estimated source of CO2 and a largely unaccounted-for, likely accelerant of SOC decomposition. We developed a first approximation to SOC enrichment for a dust emission model and quantified SOC dust emission for Australia (5.83 Tg CO2-e y-1) and Australian agricultural soils (0.4 Tg CO2-e y-1). These amount to under-estimates for CO2 emissions of ~10% from combined C pools in Australia (yr=2000), ~5% from Australian Rangelands and ~3% of Australian Agricultural Soils by Kyoto Accounting. Northern hemisphere countries with greater dust emission than Australia are also likely to have much larger SOC dust emission. Therefore, omission of SOC dust emission also likely represents a considerable underestimate from those nation’s carbon accounts.