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Soil carbon, the blind spot of European national greenhouse gas inventories

Abstract : Soil carbon is currently being monitored in European national greenhouse-gas (GHG) inventories. Reviewing the data and methods, we find that unreported losses could be around 70 MtCO2 yr–1 in croplands, and unreported gains could be around 15 MtCO2 yr–1 in grasslands and 45 MtCO2 yr–1 in forests. The share of European Union (EU) forest area for which soil carbon is being accurately reported is at most 33%, and more likely close to 24%. Accuracy is even worse for grasslands and croplands. Widespread adoption of key carbon-farming practices (peatland restoration, agroforestry, substituting maize with grass) could remove an additional 150–350 MtCO2 yr–1. Yet, if effective policies lead to realizing this potential, current GHG inventories would not capture their climate mitigation benefits.
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Contributor : Valentin Bellassen Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - 3:41:04 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 3:23:25 AM


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Valentin Bellassen, Denis Angers, Tomasz Kowalczewski, Asger Olesen. Soil carbon, the blind spot of European national greenhouse gas inventories. Nature Climate Change, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, 12, pp.324-331. ⟨10.1038/s41558-022-01321-9⟩. ⟨hal-03631358⟩



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