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Carbon sequestration

About: Carbon sequestration is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 11948 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 461397 citation(s). more

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Journal ArticleDOI
Rattan Lal1Institutions (1)
11 Jun 2004-Science
Abstract: :The carbon sink capacity of the world’s agricultural and degraded soils is 50 to 66% of the historic carbon loss of 42 to 78 gigatons of carbon. The rate of soil organic carbon sequestration with adoption of recommended technologies depends on soil texture and structure, rainfall, temperature, farming system, and soil management. Strategies to increase the soil carbon pool include soil restoration and woodland regeneration, no-till farming, cover crops, nutrient management, manuring and sludge application, improved grazing, water conservation and harvesting, efficient irrigation, agroforestry practices, and growing energy crops on spare lands. An increase of 1 ton of soil carbon pool of degraded cropland soils may increase crop yield by 20 to 40 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) for wheat, 10 to 20 kg/ha for maize, and 0.5 to 1 kg/ha for cowpeas. As well as enhancing food security, carbon sequestration has the potential to offset fossilfuel emissions by 0.4 to 1.2 gigatons of carbon per year, or 5 to 15% of the global fossil-fuel emissions. more

4,957 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
29 Feb 2008-Science
Abstract: Most prior studies have found that substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases because biofuels sequester carbon through the growth of the feedstock. These analyses have failed to count the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland to replace the grain (or cropland) diverted to biofuels. By using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land-use change, we found that corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years. Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%. This result raises concerns about large biofuel mandates and highlights the value of using waste products. more

4,518 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Yude Pan1, Richard Birdsey1, Jingyun Fang2, Jingyun Fang3  +15 moreInstitutions (13)
19 Aug 2011-Science
TL;DR: The total forest sink estimate is equivalent in magnitude to the terrestrial sink deduced from fossil fuel emissions and land-use change sources minus ocean and atmospheric sinks, with tropical estimates having the largest uncertainties. more

Abstract: The terrestrial carbon sink has been large in recent decades, but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem carbon studies, we estimate a total forest sink of 2.4 ± 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year–1) globally for 1990 to 2007. We also estimate a source of 1.3 ± 0.7 Pg C year–1 from tropical land-use change, consisting of a gross tropical deforestation emission of 2.9 ± 0.5 Pg C year–1 partially compensated by a carbon sink in tropical forest regrowth of 1.6 ± 0.5 Pg C year–1. Together, the fluxes comprise a net global forest sink of 1.1 ± 0.8 Pg C year–1, with tropical estimates having the largest uncertainties. Our total forest sink estimate is equivalent in magnitude to the terrestrial sink deduced from fossil fuel emissions and land-use change sources minus ocean and atmospheric sinks. more

3,846 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: As the largest pool of terrestrial organic carbon, soils interact strongly with atmospheric composition, climate, and land cover change. Our capacity to predict and ameliorate the consequences of global change depends in part on a better understanding of the distributions and controls of soil organic carbon (SOC) and how vegetation change may affect SOC distributions with depth. The goals of this paper are (1) to examine the association of SOC content with climate and soil texture at different soil depths; (2) to test the hypothesis that vegetation type, through patterns of allocation, is a dominant control on the vertical distribution of SOC; and (3) to estimate global SOC storage to 3 m, including an analysis of the potential effects of vegetation change on soil carbon storage. We based our analysis on .2700 soil profiles in three global databases supplemented with data for climate, vegetation, and land use. The analysis focused on mineral soil layers. Plant functional types significantly affected the vertical distribution of SOC. The per- centage of SOC in the top 20 cm (relative to the first meter) averaged 33%, 42%, and 50% for shrublands, grasslands, and forests, respectively. In shrublands, the amount of SOC in the second and third meters was 77% of that in the first meter; in forests and grasslands, the totals were 56% and 43%, respectively. Globally, the relative distribution of SOC with depth had a slightly stronger association with vegetation than with climate, but the opposite was true for the absolute amount of SOC. Total SOC content increased with precipitation and clay content and decreased with temperature. The importance of these controls switched with depth, climate dominating in shallow layers and clay content dominating in deeper layers, possibly due to increasing percentages of slowly cycling SOC fractions at depth. To control for the effects of climate on vegetation, we grouped soils within climatic ranges and compared distributions for vegetation types within each range. The percentage of SOC in the top 20 cm relative to the first meter varied from 29% in cold arid shrublands to 57% in cold humid forests and, for a given climate, was always deepest in shrublands, inter- mediate in grasslands, and shallowest in forests ( P , 0.05 in all cases). The effect of vegetation type was more important than the direct effect of precipitation in this analysis. These data suggest that shoot/root allocations combined with vertical root distributions, affect the distribution of SOC with depth. Global SOC storage in the to p3mo fsoil was 2344 Pg C, or 56% more than the 1502 Pg estimated for the first meter (which is similar to the total SOC estimates of 1500-1600 Pg made by other researchers). Global totals for the second and third meters were 491 and 351 Pg C, and the biomes with the most SOC at 1-3 m depth were tropical evergreen forests (158 Pg C) and tropical grasslands/savannas (146 Pg C). Our work suggests that plant functional types, through differences in allocation, help to control SOC distributions with depth in the soil. Our analysis also highlights the potential importance of vegetation change and SOC pools for carbon sequestration strategies. more

3,752 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Philippe Ciais, Markus Reichstein1, Nicolas Viovy, A. Granier  +29 moreInstitutions (5)
22 Sep 2005-Nature
TL;DR: An increase in future drought events could turn temperate ecosystems into carbon sources, contributing to positive carbon-climate feedbacks already anticipated in the tropics and at high latitudes. more

Abstract: Future climate warming is expected to enhance plant growth in temperate ecosystems and to increase carbon sequestration. But although severe regional heatwaves may become more frequent in a changing climate their impact on terrestrial carbon cycling is unclear. Here we report measurements of ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes, remotely sensed radiation absorbed by plants, and country-level crop yields taken during the European heatwave in 2003.We use a terrestrial biosphere simulation model to assess continental-scale changes in primary productivity during 2003, and their consequences for the net carbon balance. We estimate a 30 per cent reduction in gross primary productivity over Europe, which resulted in a strong anomalous net source of carbon dioxide (0.5 Pg Cyr21) to the atmosphere and reversed the effect of four years of net ecosystem carbon sequestration. Our results suggest that productivity reduction in eastern and western Europe can be explained by rainfall deficit and extreme summer heat, respectively. We also find that ecosystem respiration decreased together with gross primary productivity, rather than accelerating with the temperature rise. Model results, corroborated by historical records of crop yields, suggest that such a reduction in Europe's primary productivity is unprecedented during the last century. An increase in future drought events could turn temperate ecosystems into carbon sources, contributing to positive carbon-climate feedbacks already anticipated in the tropics and at high latitudes. more

2,978 citations

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No. of papers in the topic in previous years

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Topic's top 5 most impactful authors

Rattan Lal

136 papers, 19K citations

Pete Smith

60 papers, 5.7K citations

Philippe Ciais

29 papers, 8.6K citations

Keith Paustian

29 papers, 2.7K citations

Richard A. Birdsey

25 papers, 1.7K citations