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Mitigation of atmospheric CO2 concentrations by increased carbon sequestration in the soil

Batjes, N.H.
Biology and fertility of soils 1998 v.27 no.3 pp. 230-235
carbon dioxide, biogeochemical cycles, soil chemistry, fuels, land management, soil organic matter, biomass, afforestation, vegetation, degradation, atmosphere, pollution control, emissions, humus
The International Panel on Climate Change distinguished three main options for the mitigation of atmospheric CO2 concentrations by the agricultural sector: (1) reduction of agriculture-related emissions, (2) creation and strengthening of C sinks in the soil, and (3) production of biofuels to replace fossil fuels. Options for sustained sequestration of C in the soil through adapted management of land resources are reviewed in the context of the ongoing discussion on the need to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Enhanced sequestration of atmospheric CO2 in the soil, ultimately as stable humus, may well prove a more lasting solution than (temporarily) sequestering CO2 in the standing biomass through reforestation and afforestation. Such actions will also help to reverse processes of land degradation, thus contributing to sustained food productivity and security for the people in the regions concerned.