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1 October 2010 Managing Soils and Ecosystems for Mitigating Anthropogenic Carbon Emissions and Advancing Global Food Security
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Abstract

Soil carbon (C) is a dynamic and integral part of the global C cycle. It has been a source of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) since the dawn of settled agriculture, depleting more than 320 billion metric tons (Pg) from the terrestrial pool, 78±12 Pg of which comes from soil. In comparison, approximately 292 Pg C have been emitted through fossil-fuel combustion since about 1750. However, terrestrial pools can act as a sink for as much as 50 parts per million of atmospheric CO2 for 100 to 150 years. The technical sink capacity of US soils is 0.288 Pg C per year; Earth's terrestrial biosphere can act as a sink for up to 3.8 Pg C per year. The economic potential of C storage depends on its costs and cobenefits, such as global food security, water quality, and soil biodiversity. Therefore, optimally managing the soil C pool must be the bash of any strategy to improve and sustain agronomic production, especially in developing countries.

© 2010 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Rattan Lal "Managing Soils and Ecosystems for Mitigating Anthropogenic Carbon Emissions and Advancing Global Food Security," BioScience 60(9), 708-721, (1 October 2010). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.9.8
Published: 1 October 2010
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