Thursday, December 17, 2015

Growing Crops in Organic/Peat Soils Inreases Carbon Emissions

Growing agricultural crops on organic (peat) soils is not good for the climate. When organic soils are drained and cultivated the organic matter in the soil will decompose which leads to emissions of greenhouse gases. This emission makes up as much as 6 percent of Denmark's total greenhouse gas emission. The good news is that we can do something about it.

Reducing the emission from cultivated organic soils is an obvious choice to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions from agriculture, says Professor Jørgen E. Olesen from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University.


3de8af9a-85a1-11e4-b784-0b02f2c1f23a said...

Looks like we're going to have to be afraid of our shadows now. This enormous planet just can't handle a little peat moss, or agriculture, or eating plants. If only we never invented agriculture or plant eating in the 1970s when all this started.

3de8af9a-85a1-11e4-b784-0b02f2c1f23a said...

For a non satirical response: This also begs the question (yes, the actual use of that term). Isn't the whole argument for biofuels and the like that the plants now capture carbon from now so releasing that carbon back doesn't change the now since it's all just a short time scale equilibrium? So why would using organic soil, or organics breaking down in soil, cause emissions that are any different (somehow magically "bad") and not equilibrium (like with biofuels)?

You know, they used to call this something like... oh... the carbon cycle? Guess that no longer exists?

Yeah, ok, back to the satire. We really are going insane and forgetting how to science with this whole CO2 and emissions stuff now.

Will Baird said...


There was a Far Side cartoon years ago that had a scientist looking depressed as he looked away from a microscope. The caption was "It's official. Everything causes cancer."

As you stated, the carbon emissions from rich soil will need to be taken into account when doing the math for bio fuels. The key may be to pick which soils will sequester more than they release. And those are probably NOT the organically rich soils.