Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carbon sequestration in soil: The potential underfoot

19.10.2015

Declining greenhouse gas emissions from European cropland could compensate for up to 7% of annual agricultural emissions from the region, according to a new study analyzing the carbon uptake potential of soil. However at global scale, indirect effects could offset significant parts of these emission savings.

A new study published in the journal Global Environmental Change projects that carbon sequestration in European cropland could store between 9 and 38 megatons of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) per year in the soil, or as much as 7% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in the European Union, at a price of carbon of 100 $/tCO2.


©tuk69tuk | Dollar Photo Club

“However, if strict emission reduction targets are only adopted inside Europe, efforts within the EU to reduce emissions could lead to increased emissions in other parts of the world, which could significantly compromise emission reductions at global level” says IIASA researcher Stefan Frank, who led the study.
In order to reach the EU goals on climate change, mitigation measures will be needed across many sectors. This research focuses on the agriculture piece of that puzzle.

The world’s soils contain the third largest stock of carbon, after oceans and the geological pool, which includes rocks and fossil fuels. Any disturbance of soils, for example through inappropriate management or land use change could therefore release significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere. Good management practices, on the other hand, can significantly reduce emissions.

The study shows that a carbon tax only within Europe could cause some part of European agricultural production to be reallocated outside Europe. Consequently, emissions outside Europe would increase, thereby partly offsetting the emission reductions inside Europe, a problem known as emissions leakage.

“In the context of the upcoming climate summit in Paris which will aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, this study provides a piece in the mosaic of information the negotiators need to achieve a feasible but still effective deal in line with other development objectives,” says IIASA researcher Petr Havlik, who leads the GLOBIOM modeling team.

This study is a collaborative effort between IIASA, BOKU and the University of Hamburg. In particular BOKU researcher Erwin Schmid provided detailed information about carbon sequestration potential in EU cropland by means of the Environmental Policy Integrated Model (EPIC), which is used to understand crop management systems and their effects on the environment.

IIASA in collaboration with University of Hamburg (Uwe Schneider) then implemented this information into the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM), which is used to assess impacts on land use, trade, and emissions on regional and global scales and carried out the economic assessment.

Starting from a baseline scenario for future population and economic growth, the researchers then examined different scenarios in which the carbon price was varied inside Europe thereby mimicking emission reduction targets for the agricultural sector.

Given the remaining uncertainties, the small mitigation potential at carbon prices below 100 $/tCO2 and the potential leakage effects, the researchers conclude that carbon sequestration on European cropland will probably not contribute significantly to climate change mitigation and should therefore be accompanied by additional mitigation efforts. As the latest IPCC AR5 report points out, a substantial decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century would be needed to keep the 2 degree target within reach.

Reference
Frank S, Schmid E, Havlik P, Schneider UA, Bottcher H, Balkovic J, Obersteiner M, (2015). Global Environmental Change 35, 269-278. Doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.08.004

About IIASA:
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policy makers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by scientific institutions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, and Europe. www.iiasa.ac.at 

MSc Katherine Leitzell | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>