From: Dalhousie University
Published November 21, 2017 08:06 AM

How carbon farming can help solve climate change

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations pledged to keep the average global temperature rise to below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to take efforts to narrow that increase to 1.5C. To meet those goals we must not only stop the increase in our greenhouse gas emissions, we must also draw large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

The simplest, most cost effective and environmentally beneficial way to do this is right under our feet. We can farm carbon by storing it in our agricultural soils.

Soils are traditionally rich in carbon. They can contain as much as five per cent carbon by weight, in the form of soil organic matter — plant and animal matter in various stages of decomposition.

But with the introduction of modern agricultural techniques, including the plow, soil organic matter content has dropped by half in many areas of the world, including parts of Canada. That carbon, once stored in the ground, is now found in the atmosphere and oceans as CO2 and is contributing to global warming.

 

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Image via AP Photo/Seth Perlman.

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