Quantifying carbon for agricultural soil management: from the current status toward a global soil information system

Paustian, K., Collier, S., Baldock, J., Burgess, R., Creque, J., DeLonge, M., Dungait, J., Ellert, B., et al. (2019). Quantifying carbon for agricultural soil management: from the current status toward a global soil information system. Carbon Management 10 (6) 567-587. 10.1080/17583004.2019.1633231.

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The importance of building/maintaining soil carbon, for soil health and CO2 mitigation, is of increasing interest to a wide audience, including policymakers, NGOs and land managers. Integral to any approaches to promote carbon sequestering practices in managed soils are reliable, accurate and cost-effective means to quantify soil C stock changes and forecast soil C responses to different management, climate and edaphic conditions. While technology to accurately measure soil C concentrations and stocks has been in use for decades, many challenges to routine, cost-effective soil C quantification remain, including large spatial variability, low signal-to-noise and often high cost and standardization issues for direct measurement with destructive sampling. Models, empirical and process-based, may provide a cost-effective and practical means for soil C quantification to support C sequestration policies. Examples are described of how soil science and soil C quantification methods are being used to support domestic climate change policies to promote soil C sequestration on agricultural lands (cropland and grazing land) at national and provincial levels in Australia and Canada. Finally, a quantification system is outlined – consisting of well-integrated data-model frameworks, supported by expanded measurement and monitoring networks, remote sensing and crowd-sourcing of management activity data – that could comprise the core of a new global soil information system.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soil carbon, carbon sequestration, measurement methods, SOC models, soil monitoring, soil health
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2020 10:28
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16054

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