EARTH – land

see also  5/11/2021 America’s native grasslands are disappearing – The Great Plains are being torn up at a ferocious rate – with frightening implications for biodiversity and carbon storage 7/2021 Monks Wood Wilderness: 60 years ago, scientists let a farm field rewild – here’s what happened by Richard K Broughton

In the archive of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology there is a typed note from the 1960s that planted the seed of an idea. Written by Kenneth Mellanby, director of the Monks Wood Experimental Station, a former research centre in Cambridgeshire, UK, the note describes a four-hectare arable field that lies next to the station and the ancient woodland of the Monks Wood National Nature Reserve. After harvesting a final barley crop, the field was ploughed and then abandoned in 1961. The note reads:

It might be interesting to watch what happens to this area if man does not interfere. Will it become a wood again, how long will it take, which species will be in it? 2/4/2021 Climate change has impacted agricultural productivity growth by 21% since 1960s
The impact of climate change on agricultural productivity is having a disproportionate effect on poorer, warmer countries.   26/3/2021    Supercharged soil could pull carbon right out of the air   A simple seed treatment could drastically increase the amount of atmospheric carbon captured by crops, and store it underground for longer  Delle Chan 24/2/2021 One of Earth’s giant carbon sinks may have been overestimated – study – the potential of soils to slow climate change by soaking up carbon may be less than previously thought by Damian Carrington 2020 Soil carbon is a valuable resource, but all soil carbon is not created equal

by Francesca Cotrufo and Jocelyn Lavallee

Human society is literally built on soil. It feeds the world and produces vital fuel and fiber. But most people rarely give soil a second thought. Recently, though, soil has been getting some well-deserved attention from environmental organizations, policymakers and industry leaders. It has been covered in news articles, argued over in policy debates and has even received an international day of recognition.

Why all this attention? Because the world urgently needs ways to keep carbon out of the atmosphere, and to build food security for a rapidly growing global population. Soil can do both. However, current efforts to promote carbon storage in soil miss a key point: Not all soil carbon is the same. As scientists focusing on soil ecology and sustainability, we believe that managing soil carbon effectively requires taking its differences into account.