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For The Sake Of Land And Climate, Coaxing Soil To Soak Up Carbon

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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:42 PM
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For The Sake Of Land And Climate, Coaxing Soil To Soak Up Carbon
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- In a novel approach to stalling global warming while reinvigorating nutrient-depleted farmland, chemists have found they can promote soil's natural ability to soak up greenhouse-gas carbon dioxide from the surrounding air.

Experiments led by Jim Amonette at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., and reported today at the American Chemical Society national meeting, show that maintaining a proper alkalinity plus frequent wetting and drying cycles can coax soil to retain more carbon.

"Globally, soils contain four times as much carbon as the atmosphere, and half of the soil carbon is in the form of organic matter," said Amonette, a PNNL senior research scientist. Until about 30 years ago, soil tillage released more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than burning of fossil fuels. Some agricultural soils have lost a third of their carbon from tillage.

"These carbon-depleted soils are a tremendous potential reservoir for carbon that can help slow the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide," Amonette said. "The amount of carbon added to soil in a year is incredible. Today, 99 percent of it comes out the top as carbon dioxide. If we can increase the fraction that is retained in soil by even a small amount, it will make a huge difference."

----snip

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/0404020736...
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:48 PM
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1. Thanks, good information. The government has been paying farmers and
ranchers to do this for a while and the FSA will work with you on this.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Really? Is This a US Govt Program?
for the purpose of storing carbon? Got a link by any chance?
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