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Potential for carbon sequestration in the drylands

Abstract

Non-forested drylands occupy 43% of the world's land surface yet they are not currently regarded as important in sequestering carbon due to overuse and poor management. Seventy percent of drylands have already undergone moderate to severe desertification and an additional 3.5% drops out of economic production each year. Reversing the trend towards desertification through cultivation of halophytes on saline lands, revegetation of degraded rangelands and other innovative conservation measures could result in net C sequestration in dryland soils of 0.5–1.0 Gt yr−1 at a cost of $10–18 t−1 C, based on a 100 yr scenario. Investment in antidesertification measures in the world's drylands appears to be an economical method to mitigate CO2 buildup in the atmosphere while accomplishing a major international objective of restoring dryland productivity.

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Glenn, E., Squires, V., Olsen, M. et al. Potential for carbon sequestration in the drylands. Water Air Soil Pollut 70, 341–355 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01105006

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Keywords

  • Atmosphere
  • Land Surface
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Conservation Measure
  • Economic Production