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Ancient Soil Replenishment Technique Helps In Battle Against Global Warming

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Author Topic: Ancient Soil Replenishment Technique Helps In Battle Against Global Warming  (Read 164 times)
Bianca
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« on: December 20, 2008, 11:01:58 am »









                                               New Progress In Soil Ecology






ScienceDaily
(Nov. 6, 2008)

Soil protection has become a priority of the European Union. The loss of organic matter is one of the various threats to the soils that have been identified by the European Commission. Agricultural soils as well as mountain soils are implicated; they are veritable carbon sinks, which, under the impact of climate warming, could become sources greenhouse gas emissions. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a very promising avenue able to quantify the build-up of carbon in the soils at a large scale.

The capacity of plants to store carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere via photosynthesis is well known. But did you know that soils are veritable natural carbon sinks? Consequently, forest soils contain the largest terrestrial reserves on the planet.

Carbon is stored there in a more or less sustainable fashion in the form of organic matter: microflora, soil wildlife, roots and plant debris, organic labile residue (sugars, cellulose) and more stable molecules (lignin, tannin, humines). However, in a context of climate warming, these carbon stocks decompose, emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, two greenhouse gases. At Cemagref, the aim of an ongoing doctoral thesis conducted in a partnership with ADEME is to develop a simple and cost-effective tool to quantify organic carbon storage in soils. Upstream, this work come within the future European Framework Directive on soil protection with one of the priorities being to make a list of the soils at risk in Europe
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