1st Edition

The Potential of U.S. Cropland to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect

    144 Pages
    by CRC Press

    This report assesses the potential of U.S. cropland to sequester carbon, concluding that properly applied soil restorative processes and best management practices can help mitigate the greenhouse effect by decreasing the emissions of greenhouse gases from U.S. agricultural activities and by making U.S. cropland a major sink for carbon sequestration.
    Topics include:

  • Describe the greenhouse processes and global tends in emissions as well as the three principal components of anthropogenic global warming potential
  • Present data on U.S. emissions and agriculture's related role
  • Examines the soil organic carbon (SOC) pool in soils of the U.S. and its loss due to cultivation
  • Provides a reference for the magnitude of carbon sequestration potential
  • Analyzes the primary processes governing greenhouse gas emission from the pedosphere
  • Establishes a link between SOC content and soil quality
  • Outlines strategies for mitigating emissions from U.S. cropland
  • Discusses soil erosion management
  • Assesses the potential of using cropland to create biomass for direct fuel to produce power
  • Details the potential for sequestering carbon by intensifying prime agricultural land
    The Potential of U.S. Cropland to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect provides an exceptional framework for the adoption of science-based management methods on U.S. cropland, encouraging appropriate agricultural practices for the sustainable use of our natural resources and the improvement of our nation's environment.
  • Objectives
    Basic Processes
    The Greenhouse Process
    Global Trends in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    The Role of Agriculture in U.S. Emissions of Three GHGs
    The SOC Pool in U.S. Soils and SOC Loss from Cultivation
    Processes in Governing Emissions from the Pedosphere
    Plant Action
    Soil Processes
    Soil Quality
    Strategies for Mitigating Emissions from Cropland
    U.S. Cropland
    Sustainable Management Studies
    Soil Erosion Management
    Land Conversion and Restoration
    Conversion of Marginal Land
    Restoration of Degraded Soils
    Biofuels for Offsetting Fossil Fuel
    Intensification of Prime Agricultural Land
    Conservation Tillage and Residue Management
    Irrigation Water Management
    Improved Cropping Systems
    The Carbon Sequestration Potential of Arable Land
    U.S. Cropland's Overall Potential to Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect
    Techniques for Sequestration
    Rates of SOC Sequestration
    Possible Implementation Obstacles
    Required Action
    Conclusions - The Win-Win Strategy
    Agricultural Profits from Environmental Improvements
    SOC's Monetary Value
    SOC's Environmental Value
    Global Potential
    Appendix 1: Definitions
    Appendix 2: Researchable Topics


    John M. Kimble, Ronald F. Follett;C . Vernon Cole

    Mark Powell, Forestry and Natural Resource Management Unit, Winrock International, Morritlon, Arkansas