Navigation Links
Agricultural soil erosion is not adding to global warming

Agricultural soil erosion is not a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, according to research published online today (October 25) in the journal Science. The study was carried out by an international team of researchers from UC Davis, the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and the University of Exeter in the U.K.

Carbon emissions are of great concern worldwide because they, and other greenhouse gases, trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere and are a major cause of global climate change.

"There is still little known about how much carbon exactly is released, versus captured, by different processes in terrestrial ecosystems," said Johan Six, a professor of agroecology at UC Davis and one of the study's authors. "We urgently need to quantify this if we are to develop sensible and cost-effective measures to combat climate change."

In their new study, the researchers found that erosion acts like a conveyor belt, excavating subsoil, passing it through surface soils and burying it in hollows downhill. During its journey, the soil absorbs carbon from plant material; when the soil is buried, so is the carbon.

Erosion, therefore, creates what can be described as a "sink" of atmospheric carbon.

The team improved previous estimates of the amount of carbon being sunk. Said lead author Kristof Van Oost of the Catholic University of Leuven, "Some academics have argued that soil erosion causes considerable emissions of carbon, and others that erosion is actually offsetting fossil-fuel emissions. Now, our research clearly shows that neither of these is the case."

They found that erosion captures the equivalent of about 1.5 percent of annual fossil-fuel emissions worldwide. Earlier studies suggested a broad range of erosion's effects, from a sink equaling 10 percent of fossil-fuel emissions, to a source equaling 13 percent.

Even without major carbon impacts, the researchers said, erosion is a problem that must be addressed, because it has a detrimental effect on agricultural productivity and the surrounding environment.


Contact: Sylvia Wright
University of California - Davis

Related biology news :

1. Oceans more vulnerable to agricultural runoff than previously thought, study finds
2. Agricultural antibiotic use contributes to super-bugs in humans
3. Agricultural workers at increased risk for infection with animal flu viruses
4. Producing bio-ethanol from agricultural waste a step closer
5. Adding Radiation Therapy To Chemotherapy Improves Survival In Patients With High-risk Breast Cancer
6. Adding radiation decreases breast cancer recurrence
7. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
8. Nonlinear Dynamics announces more details of its global partnership with PerkinElmer
9. DuPonts first biologically derived polymer receives global recognition
10. Global analysis of membrane proteins
11. Virus-host interactions at sea effect global photosynthesis
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... 2015 --> ... market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market - Global Industry ... 2021. According to the report, the global gesture recognition market was valued ... reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at a CAGR of ... America dominated the global gesture recognition market ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure BioSciences, Inc. ... the development and sale of broadly enabling, pressure cycling ... sciences industry, today announced it has received gross proceeds ... million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the total amount ... or more additional closings are expected in the near ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need ... analytical tools has been paving the way for ... determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, ... being predominantly used in medical applications, however, their ... sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving product ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Vancouver , booth ... features Owen Mumford,s unique Comfort Zone Technology®. --> ... is a touch activated lancet that features Owen Mumford,s ... a leading medical device manufacturer, today unveils a new ... in the US before expanding out to other markets. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Today the Allen ... Seattle,s South Lake Union neighborhood, ... of Mercer Street and Westlake Avenue North, the 270,000 ... Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute ... philanthropist and founder of the Allen Institute. "We started ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Researchers at ... McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT have engineered ... significantly cut down on "off-target" editing errors. The refined ... the use of genome editing. Science , ... changing three of the approximately 1,400 amino acids that ...
(Date:12/1/2015)...  Twist Bioscience, a company focused on synthetic DNA, today ... been selected as one of Foreign Policy,s 100 ... blocks of life . Each year, Foreign Policy ... work have changed lives and are shaping the world. ... honor to be recognized among these incredible global leaders," said ...
Breaking Biology Technology: