Planting cover crops, like this red clover in Sussex County, Delaware, can help return carbon to farm fields.
Michele Dorsey Walfred/Flickr
Storing more carbon in soil helps slow climate change and makes croplands more productive. But there are two kinds of soil carbon that are both important, but function very differently.
A sample of biochar
Unused biomass residues from maize, sorghum, rice, millet and groundnut in Uganda show to offer unique opportunities for circular production and soil amendment of biochar.
While hemp does not sequester as much carbon dioxide as trees, it can be used as an efficient energy crop or in concrete, both with a potentially positive carbon sequestration effect.
Planting any tree is more important than planting a particular tree when it comes to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
While growing grass takes up carbon dioxide, it emits it again back into the atmosphere when it is mowed or eaten.
All plants take up carbon dioxide when they grow, but when they are harvested or cut down, they release the greenhouse gas back into the atmosphere.
Fast-growing plantation trees store less carbon per surface area than old, undisturbed forests that may show little growth.
Plants live off carbon dioxide, but a higher level of the greenhouse gas in the air doesn't necessarily lead to more biomass production.
Undeveloped regions such as the Amazon rainforest are critical resources for slowing climate change.
A new report calls land key to solving climate change. The good news is that there are strategies for reducing carbon emissions from land use that can also produce economic and social benefits.
Natural forest systems are far better at adapting to change conditions than young, degraded or plantation forests.
Forget eyecatching headlines about planting millions of new trees – natural mature forests are far better at storing carbon.
Could our best shot at stopping climate catastrophe be restoring forests on a massive scale?
A sperm whale goes down for a dive off Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Protecting forests and wetlands, which absorb and store carbon, is one way to slow climate change. Scientists are proposing similar treatment for marine animals that help store carbon in the oceans.
Two driverless tractors spray vines in a Texas vineyard. Each one is controlled from a single command station (2012).
Digital innovations have the potential to empower farmers and revolutionise agriculture, but many could also lock them in to unsustainable methods.
Wetlands are feeding, nesting and breeding sites for migratory birds, such as these sandhill cranes in Minnesota.
The Trump administration is sharply reducing environmental protection for wetlands and streams across the US. This roundup of stories spotlights the many benefits that such water bodies provide.
Tiny chemical clues in the ocean reveal how its role as a carbon store is changing.
Mangrove forest in Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu, India.
Mangrove forests along the world's tropical and subtropical coasts store enormous quantities of 'blue' carbon – especially in river delta zones, where soil builds up quickly.
Over 99 percent of today’s plastics come from oil, but new bio-based options are becoming available.
Icons by Vectors Market, Freepik and srip
One big problem with plastics is that they're largely made of petroleum. Sourcing bio-polymers from plants and bacteria has some big benefits – and the technology is starting to take off.
Opportunities to help drive the energy transition are everywhere - even in Western Australia’s remote salt pans.
Peter C. Doherty
Nobel Prizewinning health researcher Peter Doherty reflects on the challenge of delivering a healthy climate for the world. From hydrogen power to wooden skyscrapers, the options are endless, but all require leadership.
Freshwater cypress swamp, First Landing State Park, Va.
VA State Parks
Wetlands are some of the world's most undervalued weapons against climate change. They store huge quantities of carbon – but without better protection, many could soon be drained or paved over.
Long’s Peak framed by rock outcrop, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Scientists have long thought most nitrogen in Earth's ecosystems comes from the air, but new research shows it also is released as rocks weather. This could boost plant growth and help sequester carbon – but not fast enough to avert climate change, as some pundits have claimed.
Europe loses as many trees to storms each year as Poland produces in timber. Until now, the models for predicting which trees are at risk have not been good enough.
Giant kelp can grow up to 60cm a day, given the right conditions.
In an extract from his new book, Tim Flannery explains how giant kelp farms could suck carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the ocean's depths, while encouraging species like fish and oysters.
A coolabah forest in Western Australia – one of the world’s previously unrecognised dryland forests.
A new survey has identified millions of hectares of forest in dryland areas, a finding that boosts the total global forest cover by 9% and has significant consequences for carbon budgets.