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The role of soil in regulation of climate.

Authors
  • Lal, Rattan1
  • Monger, Curtis2
  • Nave, Luke3, 4
  • Smith, Pete5
  • 1 CFAES Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
  • 2 Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA. , (Mexico)
  • 3 Biological Station and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA.
  • 4 Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Houghton, MI 49931, USA. , (United States)
  • 5 Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
Publisher
The Royal Society
Publication Date
Sep 27, 2021
Volume
376
Issue
1834
Pages
20210084–20210084
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0084
PMID: 34365818
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The soil carbon (C) stock, comprising soil organic C (SOC) and soil inorganic C (SIC) and being the largest reservoir of the terrestrial biosphere, is a critical part of the global C cycle. Soil has been a source of greenhouse gases (GHGs) since the dawn of settled agriculture about 10 millenia ago. Soils of agricultural ecosystems are depleted of their SOC stocks and the magnitude of depletion is greater in those prone to accelerated erosion by water and wind and other degradation processes. Adoption of judicious land use and science-based management practices can lead to re-carbonization of depleted soils and make them a sink for atmospheric C. Soils in humid climates have potential to increase storage of SOC and those in arid and semiarid climates have potential to store both SOC and SIC. Payments to land managers for sequestration of C in soil, based on credible measurement of changes in soil C stocks at farm or landscape levels, are also important for promoting adoption of recommended land use and management practices. In conjunction with a rapid and aggressive reduction in GHG emissions across all sectors of the economy, sequestration of C in soil (and vegetation) can be an important negative emissions method for limiting global warming to 1.5 or 2°C This article is part of the theme issue 'The role of soils in delivering Nature's Contributions to People'.

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