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Title: The potential of agricultural land management to contribute to lower global surface temperatures

Abstract

Removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2) combined with emission reduction is necessary to keep climate warming below the internationally agreed upon 2°C target. Soil organic carbon sequestration through agricultural management has been proposed as a means to lower atmospheric CO 2 concentration, but the magnitude needed to meaningfully lower temperature is unknown. We show that sequestration of 0.68 Pg C year -1 for 85 years could lower global temperature by 0.1°C in 2100 when combined with a low emission trajectory [Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6]. This value is potentially achievable using existing agricultural management approaches, without decreasing land area for food production. Existing agricultural mitigation approaches could lower global temperature by up to 0.26°C under RCP 2.6 or as much as 25% of remaining warming to 2°C. This declines to 0.14°C under RCP 8.5. Results were sensitive to assumptions regarding the duration of carbon sequestration rates, which is poorly constrained by data. Results provide a framework for the potential role of agricultural soil organic carbon sequestration in climate change mitigation.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1477366
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Mayer, Allegra, Hausfather, Zeke, Jones, Andrew D., and Silver, Whendee L. The potential of agricultural land management to contribute to lower global surface temperatures. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaq0932.
Mayer, Allegra, Hausfather, Zeke, Jones, Andrew D., & Silver, Whendee L. The potential of agricultural land management to contribute to lower global surface temperatures. United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaq0932.
Mayer, Allegra, Hausfather, Zeke, Jones, Andrew D., and Silver, Whendee L. Wed . "The potential of agricultural land management to contribute to lower global surface temperatures". United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaq0932. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1477366.
@article{osti_1477366,
title = {The potential of agricultural land management to contribute to lower global surface temperatures},
author = {Mayer, Allegra and Hausfather, Zeke and Jones, Andrew D. and Silver, Whendee L.},
abstractNote = {Removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) combined with emission reduction is necessary to keep climate warming below the internationally agreed upon 2°C target. Soil organic carbon sequestration through agricultural management has been proposed as a means to lower atmospheric CO2 concentration, but the magnitude needed to meaningfully lower temperature is unknown. We show that sequestration of 0.68 Pg C year-1 for 85 years could lower global temperature by 0.1°C in 2100 when combined with a low emission trajectory [Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6]. This value is potentially achievable using existing agricultural management approaches, without decreasing land area for food production. Existing agricultural mitigation approaches could lower global temperature by up to 0.26°C under RCP 2.6 or as much as 25% of remaining warming to 2°C. This declines to 0.14°C under RCP 8.5. Results were sensitive to assumptions regarding the duration of carbon sequestration rates, which is poorly constrained by data. Results provide a framework for the potential role of agricultural soil organic carbon sequestration in climate change mitigation.},
doi = {10.1126/sciadv.aaq0932},
journal = {Science Advances},
issn = {2375-2548},
number = 8,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

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