Category Archives: Soil Organic Carbon

Soil Management Strategies Mitigate Extreme Weather

Can Soil Management Strategies Mitigate Extreme Weather?

mississippi floodsWritten just 2 years after Hurricane Katrina hit, Manale (2007) describes the importance of soil carbon in flood control:

What does soil carbon have in common with Hurricane Katrina, ….the Great Upper Mississippi Flood of 1993, and the Red River Flood of 1997?  For each of these extreme weather and flooding events, substantial investments in soil carbon, and thus soil organic matter in upland and coastal soils, could have saved the public both trouble and money.” Continue reading Soil Management Strategies Mitigate Extreme Weather

Updating Soil Carbon Models to Include the Effect of Soil Erosion

Soil is considered a major store of soil containing more than three times the organic carbon in the atmosphere (Lal, 2003).  Land surface models only account for the effects of net primary production and heterotrophic respiration (King et al., 1997).  An article published this week in Nature Climate Change (Chappell et al., 2015) has proposed that SOC flux should include losses (and gains) due to soil erosion (and deposition).  Looking at several long-term experimental plots in Australia, and estimating net soil erosion using three approaches, the results were incorporated into RothC (a model for the turnover of organic carbon in topsoil) to estimate net C flux with and without soil erosion.  Using this approach, the model showed a consistent under-estimate of net C flux in the presence of soil erosion.

When this approach was adopted across the long-term plots in Australia, Continue reading Updating Soil Carbon Models to Include the Effect of Soil Erosion