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Trillions of tonnes of carbon locked in soil has been left out of environmental models

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Recent research reveals the substantial amounts of inorganic carbon held in the top two meters of soil globally, totaling about 2.3 trillion tonnes—five times more than in all terrestrial vegetation 
• This carbon is now recognized as a significant part of the carbon cycle due to its potential release due to environmental changes

🔭 The context: Inorganic soil carbon, primarily as solid carbonates, accumulates over time from rock weathering and reactions with atmospheric CO2 
• It is prevalent in arid environments like Australia, which holds 7% of the global total, making it the fifth-largest pool worldwide

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The mobilization of soil inorganic carbon through human-induced environmental changes such as soil acidification and agriculture practices could severely impact ecosystems 
• This carbon pool plays a crucial role in soil health, supporting acidity neutralization, nutrient regulation, and organic carbon stabilization

⏭️ What's next: Recognizing the importance of both inorganic and organic carbon in soil is vital for future climate strategies 
• Improved agricultural practices and international soil carbon programs need to consider inorganic carbon to enhance soil management and meet climate targets effectively

📈 One stat: 2.3 trillion tonnes of inorganic carbon are stored in the top two meters of global soil, significantly impacting the Earth's carbon cycle

Click for more news covering the latest on carbon


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