Offsetting China's CO2 Emissions by Soil Carbon Sequestration
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- Lal, R. Climatic Change (2004) 65: 263. doi:10.1023/B:CLIM.0000038203.81854.7c
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Fossil fuel emissions of carbon (C) in China in 2000 was about 1 Pg/yr, which may surpass that of the U.S. (1.84 Pg C) by 2020. Terrestrial C pool of China comprises about 35 to 60 Pg in the forest and 120 to 186 Pg in soils. Soil degradation is a major issue affecting 145 Mha by different degradative processes, of which 126 Mha are prone to accelerated soil erosion. Similar to world soils, agricultural soils of China have also lost 30 to 50% or more of the antecedent soil organic carbon (SOC) pool.Some of the depleted SOC pool can be re-sequestered through restoration of degraded soils, and adoption of recommended management practices. The latter include conversion of upland crops to multiple cropping and rice paddies, adoption of integrated nutrient management (INM) strategies, incorporation of cover crops in the rotations cycle and adoption of conservation-effective systems including conservation tillage. A crude estimated potential of soil C sequestration in China is 119 to 226 Tg C/y of SOC and 7 to 138 Tg C/y for soil inorganic carbon (SIC) up to 50 years. The total potential of soil C sequestration is about 12 Pg, and this potential can offset about 25%of the annual fossil fuel emissions in China.
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