Organic soils sequester carbon to combat climate change

Photo credit: dlz design

A ground-breaking study showed that organic soils are combating climate change by locking away carbon in long-term reserves that would otherwise be in the atmosphere. A collaboration between the National Soil Project at Northeastern University and The Organic Center compared over 1,000 soils from organic and conventional farms to understand how organic vs conventional agricultural management practices influence components of soil organic carbon. The study was the first to compare the amount of total sequestered soil organic carbon - found in the form of long-lived humic substances –between agricultural systems on such a wide scale basis. The results demonstrated that organic farms store more carbon in the soil, and keep it out of the atmosphere for longer than conventional farming methods.