Can Soil Carbon Sequestration Really Work?
Carbon has been cycling into and out of topsoil since the beginning of agriculture, so can efforts to sequester carbon really work? Dr. Paige Stanley says the science supports soil carbon sequestration as one way, although not the only way, to help mitigate climate change.
Stanley… “I think we can simultaneously acknowledge that while reducing the use of fossil fuels is the primary way to mitigate climate change, we don’t have enough time to not consider the addition of other options. And that’s where I think soil carbon sequestration plays an important role. You’re right, ag has been involved in this carbon cycle for a really long time. Even basic landscapes, you know, cycle carbon through their soils and through the plant soil atmosphere interface, but I think it’s an important opportunity because, I don’t remember the latest numbers, it’s somewhere like a third of total natural climate solution opportunity is in soil carbon. So it’s not enough to get us a “get out of jail free” card when it comes to fossil fuels, but it’s enough to help add another layer of buffer into what we’re doing, because we know that to meet our climate goals of staying under two degrees warming, we can’t just stop burning fossil fuels; we need to be actively drawing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, like that’s the time that we’re in right now.”
Dr. Stanley says these sustainability measures will keep agriculture at the forefront of climate change solutions.