(p. 7) . . . scientists are documenting how sequestering carbon in soil can produce a double dividend: It reduces climate change by extracting carbon from the atmosphere, and it restores the health of degraded soil and increases agricultural yields.
. . .
Among the advocates of so-called regenerative agriculture is the climate scientist and activist James Hansen, lead author of a paper published in July that calls for the adoption of “steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content” to ward off “deleterious climate impacts.”
Rattan Lal, the director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State, estimates that soil has the potential to sequester carbon at a rate of between 0.9 and 2.6 gigatons per year. That’s a small part of the 10 gigatons a year of current carbon emissions, but it’s still significant. Somewhat reassuringly, some scientists believe the estimate is low.
“Putting the carbon back in soil is not only mitigating climate change, but also improving human health, productivity, food security, nutrition security, water quality, air quality — everything,” Mr. Lal told me over the phone. “It’s a win-win-win option.”
For the full commentary, see:
JACQUES LESLIE. “OPINION; Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet.” The New York Times, SundayReview Section (Sun., DEC. 3, 2017): 7.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date DEC. 2, 2017, and has the title “Wind and Solar Power Advance, but Carbon Refuses to Retreat.”)
The Hansen paper, mentioned above, is:
Hansen, James, Makiko Sato, Pushker Kharecha, Karina von Schuckmann, David J. Beerling, Junji Cao, Shaun Marcott, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Michael J. Prather, Eelco J. Rohling, Jeremy Shakun, Pete Smith, Andrew Lacis, Gary Russell, and Reto Ruedy. “Young People’s Burden: Requirement of Negative Co2 Emissions.” Earth System Dynamics 8 (2017): 577-616.