Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Carbon sinks and sequestration

20 April 2016

This study is the first to look at the net balance of the three major (biogenic, non-fossil fuel) greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide - for every region of earth's land masses. It analyses emissions from land use and land use change and uptakes from land and forests and concludes that the terrestrial biosphere (land and forests) is a net emitter of these greenhouse gases.

1 April 2016

This user-friendly book introduces biochar to potential users in the professional sphere. It de-mystifies the scientific, engineering and managerial issues surrounding biochar for the benefit of audiences including policy makers, landowners and farmers, land use, agricultural and environmental managers and consultants, industry and lobby groups and NGOs.

Sorghum (Photo credit:  U.S. department of Agriculture, Flickr, creative commons)
10 March 2016

In this Nature Comment, Phil Williamson of the Natural England Research Council and the University of East Anglia, argues that in order for the climate goals agreed at the COP21 in Paris last year to be achieved, a full assessment must be made of the methods for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

17 December 2015

This study entitled, Can carbon emissions from tropical deforestation drop by 50% in 5 years?, published in Global Change Biology, discusses global carbon emission trends from deforestation and the case of Brazil in particular.

2 December 2015

Research published in Nature Climate Change shows that accelerated erosion due to agricultural management is a major threat to food security and soil sustainability.

Erosion is a natural process that continually shapes the land surface. The removal of soil also removes carbon contained in that soil. With erosion removing top soil it removes the layer of the soil that has the greatest concentration of carbon.

9 October 2015

This report by the Science-Policy Partnership Network synthesizes current scientific information to help oil palm policy makers make land-use decisions which jointly meet biodiversity and carbon conservation agendas.

The Science-Policy Partnership Network is led by University of York and was set up by the ‘Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil palm Research’ (SEnSOR) project with funding from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and includes representatives from oil palm growers, consumer goods companies, NGOs, government and the RSPO.

20 May 2015

In this new paper researchers confirm that as carbon emissions continue to climb, so too has the Earth's capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. About half of the emissions of CO2 each year remain in the atmosphere; the other half is taken up by the ecosystems on land and the oceans.

18 February 2015

An article from Science Daily reports on how scientists, advisors and communications specialists have come together to examine whether beef production can help restore ecosystems. They have started to examine the adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing management technique: this involves using small-sized fields to provide short periods of grazing for livestock and long recovery periods for fields.

15 September 2014

Concentrations of carbon dioxide last year grew at the fastest rate since 1984, says a BBC news article. Reporting on data released by the World Meteorological Organisation, the article describes how this increase in concentration is due not only to increased greenhouse gas emissions, but also to a reduced carbon uptake by the biosphere. This reduction could be temporary, or it could be an indication that the biosphere has reached its absorption limit. The article points out that seas, trees, and living things, which play an important role by absorbing over half of the total greenhouse gas emissions, are also breaking records; the oceans soak up about 4kg of CO2 per person every day, a rate unparalleled over the last 300 million years and resulting in unprecedented salination of the oceans.

5 September 2014

In a debate between George Monbiot and L hunter Lovins in The Guardian, the issue of impacts and evidence of livestock grazing is discussed. Monbiots article “Eat more meat and save the world: the latest implausible farming miracle” can be found here while L. Hunter Lovins’ article “Why George Monbiot is wrong: grazing livestock can save the world” can be read here.

5 September 2014

This review, published in Nature Climate Change, concludes that the role of no-till agriculture in mitigating climate change may be over-stated . No-till and reduced tillage are methods of establishing crops with low soil disturbance as opposed to conventional tillage involving ploughing or other practices.

30 July 2014

Ten years after the first Year Book in this series appeared, a special e-book anniversary edition – UNEP Year Book 2014 – presents a fresh look at ten issues highlighted over the past decade.

1 July 2014

This paper provides new predictions of the global climate change mitigation potential of soil organic carbon sequestration on agricultural land.  It asks whether soil carbon sequestration really does have  a major role to play in mitigating agricultural GHGs and concludes that, given the many technical constraints, and the time limited nature of sequestration, its contribution is in fact likely to be minor.  However, as the authors  point out, there are other non-CO2 benefits that arise from building soil carbon, that are not considered in this study.

25 April 2014

Africa has been thought to be a potentially large carbon sink of great value in efforts to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. But this study reveals that it could be a net source of greenhouse gases that will increase global warming.

19 December 2013

This paper, which looks at the impact of agricultural intensification on soils across Europe, suggests that differences in the intensity of land use significantly affects soil ecosystems and the services they provide. High intensity arable land use is found to a have lower diversity and biomass of soil organisms than lower intensity arable or permanent grassland, and that this affects the carbon and nitrogen cycles in the environment.

Pages