The Carbon Coalition Against Global Warming says that the best way to combat Global Warming is to encourage farmers to cultivate deep-rooted perennial grass species and crops that can lock vast amounts of carbon up in the soil.
Maybe. I have a little heartburn over an expectation that the scientific community has promoted that leads us to believe that we can create a significant, persistent sink of carbon by using established farming and forestry approaches. The signal-to-noise ratio in applicable soil carbon sequestration data seems quite
A new farmers’ movement was launched this week in central western New South Wales. The Carbon Coalition was launched at the Central West Conservation Farmers Association Annual Conference in Wellington.
The Carbon Coalition aims to promote organic carbon contained in agricultural soils as a carbon sink to earn tradable credits on the greenhouse emissions market.
Farmers would then be paid up to AUS$3,000 per hectare for “sequestering” carbon in the soil. To date only forests have been recognised as tradable for carbon credits.
At the front end, soil will naturally sequester more carbon as atmospheric carbon increases. Yet no one seems to talk about measuring performance against this moving baseline. At the back end, considering the millenial timescale relevant to climate change, persistence is a very real issue.
As mentioned, I have a little heartbun about carbon credit mechanisms, but not a huge amount at this point. Work in the area of ammending soil with bio-char and, separately or in combination with bio-char, promoting mycorrhyzal fungi to produce glomalin seem both very promising in terms of the fundamental science. Both are fairly recent discoveries with huge implications. Hopefully we have a few more rabbits to pull out of the living soil hat.