Showing results for: Carbon sinks and sequestration
An article from Science Daily reports on how scientists, advisors and communications specialists have come together to examine whether beef production can help restore ecosystems. They have started to examine the adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing management technique: this involves using small-sized fields to provide short periods of grazing for livestock and long recovery periods for fields.
Concentrations of carbon dioxide last year grew at the fastest rate since 1984, says a BBC news article. Reporting on data released by the World Meteorological Organisation, the article describes how this increase in concentration is due not only to increased greenhouse gas emissions, but also to a reduced carbon uptake by the biosphere. This reduction could be temporary, or it could be an indication that the biosphere has reached its absorption limit. The article points out that seas, trees, and living things, which play an important role by absorbing over half of the total greenhouse gas emissions, are also breaking records; the oceans soak up about 4kg of CO2 per person every day, a rate unparalleled over the last 300 million years and resulting in unprecedented salination of the oceans.
In a debate between George Monbiot and L hunter Lovins in The Guardian, the issue of impacts and evidence of livestock grazing is discussed. Monbiots article “Eat more meat and save the world: the latest implausible farming miracle” can be found here while L. Hunter Lovins’ article “Why George Monbiot is wrong: grazing livestock can save the world” can be read here.
This review, published in Nature Climate Change, concludes that the role of no-till agriculture in mitigating climate change may be over-stated . No-till and reduced tillage are methods of establishing crops with low soil disturbance as opposed to conventional tillage involving ploughing or other practices.
Ten years after the first Year Book in this series appeared, a special e-book anniversary edition – UNEP Year Book 2014 – presents a fresh look at ten issues highlighted over the past decade.
This paper provides new predictions of the global climate change mitigation potential of soil organic carbon sequestration on agricultural land. It asks whether soil carbon sequestration really does have a major role to play in mitigating agricultural GHGs and concludes that, given the many technical constraints, and the time limited nature of sequestration, its contribution is in fact likely to be minor. However, as the authors point out, there are other non-CO2 benefits that arise from building soil carbon, that are not considered in this study.
Africa has been thought to be a potentially large carbon sink of great value in efforts to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. But this study reveals that it could be a net source of greenhouse gases that will increase global warming.
This paper, which looks at the impact of agricultural intensification on soils across Europe, suggests that differences in the intensity of land use significantly affects soil ecosystems and the services they provide. High intensity arable land use is found to a have lower diversity and biomass of soil organisms than lower intensity arable or permanent grassland, and that this affects the carbon and nitrogen cycles in the environment.
In a recent article in BioScience, researchers argue that land-use decisions need to take into account the multiple impacts of revegetating agricultural landscapes. If decision making fails to address the wide range of issues of importance for landscapes, carbon farming (carbon markets and related international schemes that allow payments to landholders for planting trees) may have harmful effects, such as degrading ecosystems and causing food supply problems.
Scientists from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and University of California, Berkeley have demonstrated that plants and soils could release large amounts of carbon dioxide as global climate warms. This finding contrasts with the expectation that plants and soils will absorb carbon dioxide and is important because that additional carbon release from land surface could be a potent positive feedback that exacerbates climate warming.
This paper, produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), explores the opportunities for climate change mitigation in the agricultural sector through the use of carbon markets. Carbon markets have not yet brought the technical potential for agricultural mitigation to fruition due to constraints on both the demand and supply side in terms of limited market opportunities and constraints to project implementation.
FCRN member Dr. Adrian Muller co-authored a meta-analysis published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). The authors looked at datasets from 74 studies from pairwise comparisons of organic vs. nonorganic farming systems to identify differences in soil organic carbon (SOC).
A paper in Nature Climate Change finds that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures cause rice agriculture to release more of the potent greenhouse gas methane (CH4) for each kilogram of rice it produces.
A new report led by researchers at Winrock International, a U.S. environmental nonprofit organization, has developed an estimate of gross carbon emissions from tropical deforestation for the early 2000s that is considerably lower than other recently published estimates.
This paper, co written by FCRN mailing list member Kurt Schmidinger argues that the ‘missed potential carbon sink’ - - the carbon sequestering opportunity cost of using land for livestock (and presumably for other agricultural commodities as well as for other activities) needs to be taken into account in calculating the CO2eq emissions arising from any activity.
A report published by the National Trust entitled What’s your beef? Compares the cradle-to-farm-gate emissions of ten tenanted National Trust farms, selected as representing a cross section of different beef production systems, including 4 organic, 4 conventional but extensive, and 2 semi intensive farms.