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Articles on soil carbon

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The Morrison government wants to suck CO₂ out of the atmosphere. Here are 7 ways to do it

Energy Minister Angus Taylor is this week expected to release the government's first Low Emissions Technology Statement. It's likely to include ways to remove CO₂ from the air – but do they work?
Compost awaiting distribution at the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District’s Rancho Las Virgenes compost facility, Calabasas, Calif. Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

City compost programs turn garbage into ‘black gold’ that boosts food security and social justice

Turning food scraps and yard trimmings into compost improves soil, making it easier for people to grow their own food. City composting programs spread those benefits more widely.
Planting cover crops, like this red clover in Sussex County, Delaware, can help return carbon to farm fields. Michele Dorsey Walfred/Flickr

Soil carbon is a valuable resource, but all soil carbon is not created equal

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 wildfire moves towards the town of Anzac from Fort McMurray, Alta. in May 2016. Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP

More frequent fires could dramatically alter boreal forests and emit more carbon

The boreal forest is being reshaped by wildfire. As climate change intensifies wildfire activity, the boreal forest will likely become a carbon source.
No-till farming conserves soil by greatly reducing erosion. USDA NRCS South Dakota/Eric Barsness

Restoring soil can help address climate change

More than one-fifth of global warming emissions come from land use. Sustainable farming can make soil healthier and better able to soak up carbon, while saving energy and boosting food production.
Rock Hills Ranch in South Dakota uses managed grazing techniques to maintain healthy, diverse plant communities in its pastures. Lars Ploughmann

Regenerative agriculture can make farmers stewards of the land again

US agriculture is dominated by large farms that rely on chemical inputs. In contrast, regenerative farming makes land and water healthier by mimicking nature instead of trying to control it.
More carbon stays in the soil when farmers leave their fields alone between harvesting and planting. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

How carbon farming can help solve climate change

The Paris climate agreement aims to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. We need to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but we can also make gains with carbon farming.
Healthy soil from an Oregon farm. Aaron Roth, NRCS/Flickr

Make our soil great again

To help feed a growing world population, restore biodiversity and slow climate change, a geologist calls for a moon shot effort to restore healthy soil around the world.
Beefy problem: livestock emit methane, but the soils where they graze can be much more climate-friendly than cropland. AAP Image/Caroline Duncan Photography

Veggie is the most low-carbon diet, right? Well, it depends where you live

Eating meat means greenhouse emissions. But the emissions from growing crops may have been underestimated, meaning that a climate-friendly diet isn't as straightforward as simply going vegetarian.

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