A new paper in the journal Nature Sustainability analysed the potential for carbon sequestration in soils and found it could, if properly managed, contribute a quarter of absorbtion on land. The total potential for land-based sequestration is 23.8 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent, so soil could in theory absorb 5.5 billion tonnes annually. Most of this potential, around 40%, can be achieved simply by leaving existing soil alone - that is, not continuing to expand agriculture and plantation growth across the globe.
Tropical forest ecosystems are an important part of the global carbon cycle as they take up and store large amounts of CO2. It is however uncertain how much these forests’ ability to take up and store carbon differ between forests with high versus low species richness. New IIASA research sheds light on this question aiming to enhance our ability to predict tropical ecosystems’ strength as global carbon sinks. Paper: Shedding light on how much carbon tropical forests can absorb (2020, IIASA)