Soil carbon sequestration can play a strategic role in controlling the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and thereby help mitigate climatic change. There are scientific opportunities to increase the capacity of soils to store carbon and remove it from circulation for longer periods of time. The vast areas of degraded and desertified lands throughout the world offer great potential for the sequestration of very large quantities of carbon. If credits are to be bought and sold for carbon storage, quick and inexpensive instruments and methods will be needed to monitor and verify that carbon is actually being added and maintained in soils. Large-scale soil carbon sequestration projects pose economic and social problems that need to be explored.
This book focuses on scientific and implementation issues that need to be addressed in order to advance the discipline of carbon sequestration from theory to reality. The main issues discussed in the book are broad and cover aspects of basic science, monitoring, and implementation. The opportunity to restore productivity of degraded lands through carbon sequestration is examined in detail.
Reprinted from CLIMATIC CHANGE, 51:1, 2001
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