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Articles on soil carbon

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These insects are basically little machines that convert carbon-rich leaves into nitrogen-rich poo. (John Gunn)

Very hungry caterpillars can have large effects on lake quality and carbon emissions

As environmental engineers, invasive caterpillars can have remarkable effects on water quality and soil conditions. But from a climate perspective they’re pretty much a nuisance.
Companies’ net-zero pledges count on vast expanses of forest to hold carbon so they can continue emitting. AFP via Getty Images

Forests can’t handle all the net-zero emissions plans – companies and countries expect nature to offset too much carbon

Yes, trees and soils can absorb and store carbon, but the carbon doesn’t stay stored forever. That’s one of the problems with how net-zero plans for the climate are being designed.
A farmer walks through a rice paddy in India’s northeastern state of Assam. Buu Boro /AFP via Getty Images

Food production generates more than a third of manmade greenhouse gas emissions – a new framework tells us how much comes from crops, countries and regions

A new study provides a detailed way to calculate the climate impact of food production, which could lead to more sustainable farming policies and methods.
Organic vegetables at the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, Goleta, Calif. Citizen of the Planet/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Organic food has become mainstream but still has room to grow

Four out of five Americans regularly buy some kind of organic food. An expert on the industry says more federal support could greatly expand organic farming and its environmental benefits.
Pixabay

‘One of the most damaging invasive species on Earth’: wild pigs release the same emissions as 1 million cars each year

Wild pigs are on every continent, except Antarctica. All up, they likely turn over the the same amount of soil as the area of Taiwan.
Soybeans sprout on an Illinois farm through corn stubble left on an unplowed field from the previous season – an example of no-till farming. Paige Buck, USDA/Flickr

To make agriculture more climate-friendly, carbon farming needs clear rules

Policymakers want to pay farmers for storing carbon in soil, but there are no uniform rules yet for measuring, reporting or verifying the results. Four scholars offer some ground rules.
Shutterstock

US scheme used by Australian farmers reveals the dangers of trading soil carbon to tackle climate change

If problems in such schemes are not addressed, the credibility of soil carbon trading will be undermined. Ultimately the climate - and the planet - will be the loser.
A prairie strip filled with flowers and wild rye grass between soybean fields on Tim Smith’s farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa, reduces greenhouse gases and stores carbon in the soil. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Climate-friendly farming strategies can improve the land and generate income for farmers

Farmers can help slow climate change by mixing native grasses into croplands, restoring wetlands and raising perennial crops. These strategies also conserve soil and water and build new markets.
Shutterstock

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?

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