Soil storage and capture: we must deal with new numbers!

Carbon capture and storage into soils has always been thought to be one of the best way to reduce the quantity of Co2 in the atmosphere.

The Earth’s soil works as a carbon sink and is a good reservoir in the medium -long term and contains the biggest amount of Co2. However, we have been overestimating its power.

According to a study by the University of California, the average age of carbon dioxide is six time older than IPCC thought. According to the authors the amount of Co2 captured by the land has been overestimated by 40%.

Putting in another words: the landfill cannot soak up Co2 fast enough to drastically reduce the Co2 present in the air. Additionally we must recall that the soil is a limited storage for Co2.

Surely, changes in our agricultural practices will keep the carbon capture rate steady for other two or three decades but in the long run the Co2 sequestered will fall to zero.

Co2 storage is crucial in fighting against climate change, not to forget that as more carbon is present in the soil it will turn out in higher productivity and fertility of the fields. However, there could be the real possibility that the speed at which the soil captures-and-stores the Co2 is not enough, and ultimately it will disappear before it can effectively steal the Co2 amount experts estimated.  Land erosion, indiscriminate overbuilding and seawater expansion are always knocking at the door.

As a new time horizon has open for the fight to carbon dioxide in the air, more urgent action must be taken, reminding ourselves that time is running and we need to follow up!

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