How to measure, report and verify soil carbon change to realise the potential of soil carbon sequestration for atmospheric greenhouse gas removal

31 Aug 2019

Our colleagues Niels Batjes and Fenny van Egmond contributed to this research review in Global Change Biology, led by Prof. Pete Smith (Univ. of Aberdeen), as a contribution to ISRIC's CIRCASA and GRA-related activities. The paper reviews methods and challenges of measuring SOC change directly in soils, before examining some recent novel developments that show promise for quantifying SOC. It describes how repeat soil surveys are used to estimate changes in SOC over time, and how long‐term experiments and space‐for‐time‐substitution sites can serve as sources of knowledge and can be used to test models, and as potential benchmark sites in global frameworks to estimate SOC change. Models that can be used to simulate and project change in SOC and examine the MRV platforms for soil organic carbon change already in use in various countries / regions are briefly considered. In the final section, the authors bring together the various components described in the review, to describe a new vision for a global framework for MRV of soil organic carbon change, to support national and international initiatives seeking to effect change in the way we manage our soils.

Read more here.