MORE ABOUT SOIL CARBON​

Soil Carbon 

Photosynthesis is used by nature for over 3 billion years as a carbon capture and storage method that works at scale. 
Plants captures atmospheric carbon dioxide and convert this into carbohydrates or sugars by photosynthesis. The plant-produced carbohydrates are used to provide energy to the plants and support growth. A signifiant part of the carbohydrates are transported to the root system. The roots have an active partnership with the micro-organisms living in the soil. The micro-organisms receive carbohydrates in exchange for essential minerals and nutrients the plant need to grow. In a healthy ecology, where plants, insects and micro-organisms are thriving, plants are effectively pumping large amounts of atmospheric carbon into the soil. 

​It is estimated that the first 3 ft of soils contain globally 1200-2400 Giga metric tonnes of carbon, which is more than all carbon in the atmosphere [823 Giga metric tonnes) and all plants (forests, jungle, grasslands) [450-600 Giga metric tonnes] combined.
Source: IPCC Fifth Assessment Report 2014

Grazing and Carbon

Restoration of native ecosystems and the use of management concepts such as adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing, that emulate the
action of buffalo grazing on the prairie, have the potential to reliably store vast amounts of carbon in near-surface soil at very low cost.  
When these more intensive grazing practices are used, plants, insects and soil microbes thrive, initiating natural  processes by which impressive amounts of carbon dioxide captured by photosynthesis are pumped into the soil.

Scientists have measured that well-managed ranches can capture and store more than 4.5 metric tonnes CO2/acre/year.
[source: Teague et al. 2011; Apfelbaum et al. 2015]

​Cows emit methane, which is a strong Greenhouse gas. Most of the current methane data available were measured from cows living on a corn-fed diet. Researchers find clear indications that when cows eat a more healthy, and diverse natural diet of mixed grassland vegetation, the methane emitted is much lower. More research is being executed in 2018 and 2019 by a large team of experts to get reliable quantitative data on methane.          ​[source: www.soilcarboncowboys.com/research]

A scale that matters

If only half of the existing US grazing lands were managed differently than they are today, these healthy soils could store from 10 to 23 percent of the yearly United States carbon dioxide emissions.
Moreover, healthy soils will significantly enhance the economic profitability and drought and flood resilience of ranches.

Closing the Carbon Cycle

Carbon dioxide in itself is not a pollutent. Carbon is a basic building material of all living organisms on our planet. By the massive use of fossil fuels, cement and lans-change, humanity has influenced the carbon balance. Human activities lead to a yearly increase of atmosphereic carbon with about 4 metric Giga tonnes.  
An emitter can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in three basic ways: avoid, minimize, or capture emissions by removing them from the atmosphere. To avoid emissions, users can pursue sources of energy that involve no hydrocarbon combustion, such as solar or wind. To minimize emissions, users can become more efficient via better insulation and design of buildings, low-emission vehicles, energy efficient appliances, or changes in consumption demands. But for those carbon emissions that remain, the only path toward carbon neutrality involves removing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it. Several technology-based engineering solutions have been developed, but implementation has been virtually nil because of the prohibitively
high costs of such carbon sequestration at meaningful scale.
Nature-based carbon capture and storage  based on photosynthesis, which cycles carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, which are then stored in plants and in the soil offer the capacity we need to restore and close the carbon cycle fast and affordably.

A soil carbon storage market

If parties on the challenged side of the carbon cycle could easily cooperate with parties on the opportunity side of the carbon cycle we can create an impactful solution. Thus, if for example, hydrocarbon energy companies and airlines can easily collaborate with ranchers, the surplus of emitted carbon dioxide can be stored in the soils of ranches. Paying ranchers a fair compensation for their soil carbon storage service should help to rapidly reach a scale that matters.

To date, hardly any trading system meets the needs and requirements of the private landowners that control the land that has the ability to sequester these immense amounts of carbon dioxide.
The Soil Value Exchange (SVX) is designed to support landowners as they manage their property to promote healthy soils and soil carbon storage by (1) implementing a soil-carbon trading system based on robust soil carbon measurements that works for land owners and carbon credit buyers, (2) providing grants for land management consultant support, and (3) providing grants to support soil carbon measurements.


We build partnerships between
carbon producers and carbon farmers

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