Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Characterising the biophysical, economic and social impacts of soil carbon sequestration as a greenhouse gas removal technology

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Manning

Downloads


Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

© 2019 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. To limit warming to well below 2°C, most scenario projections rely on greenhouse gas removal technologies (GGRTs); one such GGRT uses soil carbon sequestration (SCS) in agricultural land. In addition to their role in mitigating climate change, SCS practices play a role in delivering agroecosystem resilience, climate change adaptability and food security. Environmental heterogeneity and differences in agricultural practices challenge the practical implementation of SCS, and our analysis addresses the associated knowledge gap. Previous assessments have focused on global potentials, but there is a need among policymakers to operationalise SCS. Here, we assess a range of practices already proposed to deliver SCS, and distil these into a subset of specific measures. We provide a multidisciplinary summary of the barriers and potential incentives towards practical implementation of these measures. First, we identify specific practices with potential for both a positive impact on SCS at farm level and an uptake rate compatible with global impact. These focus on: (a) optimising crop primary productivity (e.g. nutrient optimisation, pH management, irrigation); (b) reducing soil disturbance and managing soil physical properties (e.g. improved rotations, minimum till); (c) minimising deliberate removal of C or lateral transport via erosion processes (e.g. support measures, bare fallow reduction); (d) addition of C produced outside the system (e.g. organic manure amendments, biochar addition); (e) provision of additional C inputs within the cropping system (e.g. agroforestry, cover cropping). We then consider economic and non-cost barriers and incentives for land managers implementing these measures, along with the potential externalised impacts of implementation. This offers a framework and reference point for holistic assessment of the impacts of SCS. Finally, we summarise and discuss the ability of extant scientific approaches to quantify the technical potential and externalities of SCS measures, and the barriers and incentives to their implementation in global agricultural systems.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Sykes AJ, Macleod M, Eory V, Rees RM, Payen F, Myrgiotis V, Williams M, Sohi S, Hillier J, Moran D, Manning DAC, Goglio P, Seghetta M, Williams A, Harris J, Dondini M, Walton J, House J, Smith P

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Global Change Biology

Year: 2020

Volume: 26

Issue: 3

Pages: 1085-1108

Print publication date: 01/03/2020

Online publication date: 18/09/2019

Acceptance date: 21/08/2019

ISSN (print): 1354-1013

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2486

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd

URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14844

DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14844


Actions

Find at Newcastle University icon    Link to this publication


Share