Technologies for increasing carbon storage in soil to mitigate climate change

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Whitmore, A. P., Kirk, G. J. D. and Rawlins, B. G. 2015. Technologies for increasing carbon storage in soil to mitigate climate change. Soil Use and Management. 31 (Suppl. 1), pp. 62-71.

AuthorsWhitmore, A. P., Kirk, G. J. D. and Rawlins, B. G.
Abstract

Means to enhance storage of carbon in soil or avoid its loss from soil are discussed and examined from the viewpoint of policy. In particular, technologies that have until now received little attention are assessed. The main means by which soil carbon might be increased are first listed. These are the following: (i) increasing the rate of input of organic matter; (ii) decreasing the rate of its decomposition by biological or chemical means; (iii) increasing the rate of its stabilization by physico-chemical protection within aggregates and organo-mineral complexes; and (iv) increasing the depth or more correctly the total soil volume sequestering carbon at maximum rate. Immediate gains in carbon storage might be made by switching to more perennial crops, especially grasses that, as a result of breeding, are able to put more carbon into soil. In the longer term, targets for research such as understanding the role of enzymes in carbon turnover and the exploitation of the capacity in subsoils are suggested. Increased fixation of CO2 as inorganic carbonate in soils by application of silicate wastes may have some role.

KeywordsSoil Science
Year of Publication2015
JournalSoil Use and Management
Journal citation31 (Suppl. 1), pp. 62-71
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/sum.12115
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Funder project or codeDelivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
Quantifying Sustainable Systems
Soil carbon: Studies to explore greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation
DEFRA SP1605 To evaluate the potential of technologies for increasing carbon storage in soil to mitigate climate change
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online23 Apr 2014
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Dec 2013
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
PublisherWiley
British Society of Soil Science (BSSS)
ISSN0266-0032

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