The role of soil carbon in mitigating climate change

Soil holds three times more carbon than the atmosphere. Building soil carbon is an appealing way to mitigate climate change in land-based systems. Apart from increasing carbon sinks and reducing further emissions from land use change, building soil carbon gives benefits to agriculture such as soil fertility, reduced erosion and enhanced resilience to climate change. A recent study that quantifies the role of soil carbon in (land-based) natural climate solutions (NCS) shows that soil carbon makes up 25% of the total potential of NCS, of which 60% is restoration of depleted stocks and the rest is protection of existing soil carbon. The study also shows that soil carbon makes up 47% of the climate mitigation potential of agriculture. 


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