Soils can be a net sink of greenhouse gases through storage of organic carbon

A recently published study in Nature Climate Change has indicated that soils can be a net sink of greenhouse gases through increased storage of organic carbon. Whilst land management practices can either accelerate the release of carbon or increase the soil’s capacity to store it, the use of fertilisers needs to be adjusted to balance additional nitrogen inputs as climate change mitigation advances can be cancelled out through higher nitrous oxide emissions from soil. The study concludes that a significant level of CO2 mitigation is achievable so long as nitrogen inputs are in turn controlled. You can take a look at the full study here. The findings are a welcome development and can contribute to the EU target to cut 20% greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and by 40% by 2030 (both compared with emission levels of 1990).

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