New method has promise for accurate, efficient soil carbon estimates
Earth’s soil contains large stocks of carbon — even more carbon than in the atmosphere. A significant portion of this soil carbon is in organic form (carbon bound to carbon), called soil organic carbon (SOC). However, SOC has historically been greatly diminished by agricultural activity, releasing that carbon into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change.
To monitor and sustainably manage SOC stocks under agricultural land use, an accurate way to measure SOC is essential. However, current methods of accurately estimating SOC are resource- and cost-intensive. In their new study, published in Geoderma, Agroecosystem Sustainability Center (ASC) and ACES researchers tested a new sampling method in hopes of improving the ability to estimate SOC stocks.