Increasing soil carbon storage and longevity

As atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations continue to rise, there is an urgent need for new, bold solutions for carbon dioxide removal. There is a rich body of soil research that has focused on quantifying and reducing carbon dioxide emissions from soils and soil carbon cycling. Much of this research has guided new best practices for agriculture and land management.

Unabated pace of climate change requires more than just slowing soil carbon loss; we need new fundamental and applied science that can increase soil carbon storage and longevity.

This is the topic of the "A National 'Earthshot' – Can we increase the amount of carbon and persistence of carbon in soils to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide?" symposium for the Communication and Public Engagement for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Presentations include:

  • Our current knowledge of regional carbon fluxes: Integrating large-scale soil respiration and other datasets to explore soils' future carbon sequestration potential, Ben Bond-Lamberty, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Long-term field studies: Prairie strips in agricultural land for carbon and conservation, Sarah Evans, Michigan State University
  • The role of microbes in carbon storage: Evaluating the connections between soil organic carbon abundance and persistence in the context of climate change, Katherine Heckman, USDA Forest Service
  • Engineered solutions to optimize carbon storage: Increasing soil organic carbon storage and persistence in soils: levers associated with microbial and physical controls, Claire Chenu, INRAE UMR Ecosys, France

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