Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Florida’s Climate Boosts Soil-Carbon Storage, Cuts Greenhouse Emissions

30.09.2014

Warm temperatures and a wet landscape increase soil’s ability to store carbon, which in turn helps mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new University of Florida study covering 45 years of data.

Soil-stored carbon can slow the build-up of carbon-based gases in the atmosphere, a phenomenon believed to be a cause of global climate change. So it’s vital to preserve soil carbon, said Sabine Grunwald, a UF soil and water science professor who led the research.

“The conservation of the ‘black gold’ below our feet, which is not only a natural part of Florida’s soils but also helps to improve our climate and agricultural production, is a hidden treasure,” said Grunwald, a member of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty. “Soils serve as a natural container to hold carbon that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases that accelerate global climate change.”

In addition to environmental stewardship, landowners can make money by storing carbon. Participants in the state’s Florida Stewardship Program are sitting on an estimated $300 million worth of carbon.

Because it’s so wet, Florida’s soil has historically stored more carbon than any state, except perhaps Alaska, which has not been studied extensively, Grunwald said.

With Florida’s rapid population growth in the past 45 years, from 5 million to about 18 million, land use has changed considerably. More urban areas have sprung up, while agricultural, rangeland and forests have declined, Grunwald said. That change has caused carbon-rich wetlands to increase 140 percent, while carbon-poor agricultural land decreased about 20 percent, according to the study.

In the first study of its kind, UF researchers reviewed data from 1,251 soil samples collected across Florida from 1965 to 1996. They also collected 1,080 new soil samples statewide in 2010. They studied carbon sequestration rates from 1965 to 2010.

Researchers studied land use, land cover and climate change to see how those factors affect the soil’s ability to store carbon. Organic carbon in soil includes dead plant and animal tissue and makes up most global soil carbon.

Land cover is what’s on the Earth’s surface, whether it’s dirt, pavement, water or trees, among other things. Land use means how people utilize public and private land, such as agriculture, forestry or conservation land.

Together, land use, land cover and climate change account for 46 percent of soil carbon sequestration, the study showed. Of that, land use and land cover account for 27 percent, while climate change account for 19 percent.

Researchers used temperature and rain to determine the effect of climate change. They found higher average annual temperatures correlated with higher soil carbon sequestration, specifically in crops, mesic upland forest, pineland and land converted from pine forests to urban use. Areas with higher average annual precipitation showed less sequestration in agricultural crops and pine forests.

Among land-use types, researchers also found sugarcane in the soils of the Everglades Agricultural area near Lake Okeechobee and wetlands stored the most soil carbon while crop, citrus and relatively dry upland forest sequestered the least.

Results of the study appear in the September issue of the journal Science of the Total Environment

By Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu
Source: Sabine Grunwald, 352-294-3145, sabgru@ufl.edu

Brad Buck | newswise

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>