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Global challenges and adaptations in management practices to preserve soil carbon pool with changing climate

Sarkar, Reshmi
Environmental earth sciences 2018 v.77 no.14 pp. 530
agricultural management, anthropogenic activities, biosphere, carbon dioxide, carbon sinks, climate change, crop models, crop production, deforestation, ecosystem services, ecosystems, edaphic factors, food security, microbial communities, nutrients, roots, soil, soil fertility, soil organic carbon, sustainable development, temperature, tropical forests
Increasing CO₂ levels and its consequent effects have been prominent with climate change. Three out of ten transgressed planetary boundaries reflect our planet’s status at tipping point. Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) which helps soil supply water and nutrients to plants through roots is inherently related to various ecological systems and needs urgent attention. Although the total SOC globally is more than the total carbon in biosphere and atmosphere, the vulnerability of SOC due to anthropogenic activities is unavoidable. The environmental factors affecting sequestration of SOC, soil fertility, crop production, accelerated SOC removal with rising temperatures, green-house gases emissions and climate change are interrelated. Thus, it is impossible to understand and estimate the various scenarios of impacts on SOC pool with ever-changing ecosystems and related processes in soil environment completely. Based on currently predicted climate change scenarios, if deforestation is controlled and reestablishment is achieved, tropical forests can trap atmospheric CO₂ in the cheapest way and function as the largest sink on earth. The agricultural management practices (AMPs), which have been practiced in the last two decades and found helpful are suitable. However, some innovative adaptations such as crop modelling, selecting types of residue to change microbial communities, practices of grassland-grazing and low-C-emission AMPs are also necessary. To achieve the millennium development goals, we must accomplish food security, which relates all 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) also relays agricultural systems, soil systems, ecosystem services, soil fertility and how best we nurture SOC pool with supportive AMPs.