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

Pete Smith (Corresponding Author), Jean-Francois Soussana, Denis Angers, Louis Schipper, Claire Chenu, Daniel P. Rasse, Niels H. Batjes, Fenny van Egmond, Stephen McNeill, Matthias Kuhnert, Cristina Arias-Navarro, Jorgen E. Olesen, Ngonidzashe Chirinda, Dario Fornara, Eva Wollenberg, Jorge Álvaro-Fuentes, Alberto Sanz-Cobeña, Katja Klumpp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is growing international interest in better managing soils to increase soil organic carbon content to contribute to climate change mitigation, to enhance resilience to climate change and to underpin food security, through initiatives such as international “4p1000” initiative and the FAO’s Global assessment of soil organic carbon sequestration potential (GSOCseq) programme. Since soil organic carbon content of soils cannot be easily measured, a key barrier to implementing programmes to increase soil organic carbon at large scale, is the need for credible and reliable measurement/monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) mechanisms. Without such mechanisms, investments could be considered risky.

In this paper we review methods and challenges of measuring SOC change directly in soils, before examining some recent novel developments that show promise for quantifying SOC. We describe how repeat soil surveys are used to estimate territorial 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 testing models, and as potential benchmark sites in global frameworks to estimate SOC change. We briefly consider models that can be used to simulate and project change in SOC and examine the MRV frameworks for soil organic carbon change already in use in various countries / regions. In the final section, we bring together the various components described in this 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Early online date6 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2019

Fingerprint

atmospheric gas
soil carbon
Greenhouse gases
carbon sequestration
greenhouse gas
Carbon
Soils
Organic carbon
organic carbon
soil
Climate change
Monitoring
monitoring
Soil surveys
removal
soil survey
Food and Agricultural Organization
food security
substitution
Substitution reactions

Keywords

  • soil organic matter
  • soil organic carbon
  • measurement
  • monitoring
  • reporting
  • verification
  • MRV
  • STOCK CHANGES
  • NEW-ZEALAND
  • EDDY-COVARIANCE
  • DIFFUSE-REFLECTANCE SPECTROSCOPY
  • BULK-DENSITY
  • LONG-TERM EXPERIMENTS
  • LAND-USE CHANGE
  • ORGANIC-CARBON
  • AGRICULTURAL SOILS
  • IN-SITU

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

How to measure, report and verify soil carbon change to realize the potential of soil carbon sequestration for atmospheric greenhouse gas removal. / Smith, Pete (Corresponding Author); Soussana, Jean-Francois; Angers, Denis; Schipper, Louis; Chenu, Claire; Rasse, Daniel P.; Batjes, Niels H.; van Egmond, Fenny; McNeill, Stephen; Kuhnert, Matthias; Arias-Navarro, Cristina; Olesen, Jorgen E.; Chirinda, Ngonidzashe; Fornara, Dario; Wollenberg, Eva ; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge; Sanz-Cobeña, Alberto; Klumpp, Katja.

In: Global Change Biology, 06.10.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, P, Soussana, J-F, Angers, D, Schipper, L, Chenu, C, Rasse, DP, Batjes, NH, van Egmond, F, McNeill, S, Kuhnert, M, Arias-Navarro, C, Olesen, JE, Chirinda, N, Fornara, D, Wollenberg, E, Álvaro-Fuentes, J, Sanz-Cobeña, A & Klumpp, K 2019, 'How to measure, report and verify soil carbon change to realize the potential of soil carbon sequestration for atmospheric greenhouse gas removal', Global Change Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14815
Smith, Pete ; Soussana, Jean-Francois ; Angers, Denis ; Schipper, Louis ; Chenu, Claire ; Rasse, Daniel P. ; Batjes, Niels H. ; van Egmond, Fenny ; McNeill, Stephen ; Kuhnert, Matthias ; Arias-Navarro, Cristina ; Olesen, Jorgen E. ; Chirinda, Ngonidzashe ; Fornara, Dario ; Wollenberg, Eva ; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge ; Sanz-Cobeña, Alberto ; Klumpp, Katja. / How to measure, report and verify soil carbon change to realize the potential of soil carbon sequestration for atmospheric greenhouse gas removal. In: Global Change Biology. 2019.
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abstract = "There is growing international interest in better managing soils to increase soil organic carbon content to contribute to climate change mitigation, to enhance resilience to climate change and to underpin food security, through initiatives such as international “4p1000” initiative and the FAO’s Global assessment of soil organic carbon sequestration potential (GSOCseq) programme. Since soil organic carbon content of soils cannot be easily measured, a key barrier to implementing programmes to increase soil organic carbon at large scale, is the need for credible and reliable measurement/monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) mechanisms. Without such mechanisms, investments could be considered risky.In this paper we review methods and challenges of measuring SOC change directly in soils, before examining some recent novel developments that show promise for quantifying SOC. We describe how repeat soil surveys are used to estimate territorial 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 testing models, and as potential benchmark sites in global frameworks to estimate SOC change. We briefly consider models that can be used to simulate and project change in SOC and examine the MRV frameworks for soil organic carbon change already in use in various countries / regions. In the final section, we bring together the various components described in this 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.",
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author = "Pete Smith and Jean-Francois Soussana and Denis Angers and Louis Schipper and Claire Chenu and Rasse, {Daniel P.} and Batjes, {Niels H.} and {van Egmond}, Fenny and Stephen McNeill and Matthias Kuhnert and Cristina Arias-Navarro and Olesen, {Jorgen E.} and Ngonidzashe Chirinda and Dario Fornara and Eva Wollenberg and Jorge {\'A}lvaro-Fuentes and Alberto Sanz-Cobe{\~n}a and Katja Klumpp",
note = "Acknowledgements PS, JFS, CC, NB, MK, CA and JO acknowledge support from the CIRCASA project which received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement n° 774378. The input of PS also contributes to the projects: DEVIL (NE/M021327/1), Assess-BECCS (funded by UKERC) and Soils-R7-GRREAT (NE/P019455/1). AS-C acknowledges support from the AGRISOST-CM project (S2018/BAA-4330) and MACSUR-JPI initiative, as well as the inspiration and support from the Spanish research networks REMEDIA and NUEVA. JA-F acknowledges support from Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad of Spain (project number AGL2017-84529-C3-1- R). The participation of NC and EW was funded as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which is carried out with support from the CGIAR Trust Fund and through bilateral funding agreements (https://ccafs.cgiar.org/donors). The views expressed in this document cannot be taken to reflect the official opinions of the funding organizations. LS and SM acknowledge support from the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre and Global Research Alliance. This paper contributes to the work of the Soil Carbon Sequestration network of the Integrative Research Group of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (https://globalresearchalliance.org/).",
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AU - Smith, Pete

AU - Soussana, Jean-Francois

AU - Angers, Denis

AU - Schipper, Louis

AU - Chenu, Claire

AU - Rasse, Daniel P.

AU - Batjes, Niels H.

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AU - Olesen, Jorgen E.

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AU - Sanz-Cobeña, Alberto

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N1 - Acknowledgements PS, JFS, CC, NB, MK, CA and JO acknowledge support from the CIRCASA project which received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement n° 774378. The input of PS also contributes to the projects: DEVIL (NE/M021327/1), Assess-BECCS (funded by UKERC) and Soils-R7-GRREAT (NE/P019455/1). AS-C acknowledges support from the AGRISOST-CM project (S2018/BAA-4330) and MACSUR-JPI initiative, as well as the inspiration and support from the Spanish research networks REMEDIA and NUEVA. JA-F acknowledges support from Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad of Spain (project number AGL2017-84529-C3-1- R). The participation of NC and EW was funded as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which is carried out with support from the CGIAR Trust Fund and through bilateral funding agreements (https://ccafs.cgiar.org/donors). The views expressed in this document cannot be taken to reflect the official opinions of the funding organizations. LS and SM acknowledge support from the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre and Global Research Alliance. This paper contributes to the work of the Soil Carbon Sequestration network of the Integrative Research Group of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (https://globalresearchalliance.org/).

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AB - There is growing international interest in better managing soils to increase soil organic carbon content to contribute to climate change mitigation, to enhance resilience to climate change and to underpin food security, through initiatives such as international “4p1000” initiative and the FAO’s Global assessment of soil organic carbon sequestration potential (GSOCseq) programme. Since soil organic carbon content of soils cannot be easily measured, a key barrier to implementing programmes to increase soil organic carbon at large scale, is the need for credible and reliable measurement/monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) mechanisms. Without such mechanisms, investments could be considered risky.In this paper we review methods and challenges of measuring SOC change directly in soils, before examining some recent novel developments that show promise for quantifying SOC. We describe how repeat soil surveys are used to estimate territorial 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 testing models, and as potential benchmark sites in global frameworks to estimate SOC change. We briefly consider models that can be used to simulate and project change in SOC and examine the MRV frameworks for soil organic carbon change already in use in various countries / regions. In the final section, we bring together the various components described in this 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.

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KW - soil organic carbon

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KW - monitoring

KW - reporting

KW - verification

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KW - STOCK CHANGES

KW - NEW-ZEALAND

KW - EDDY-COVARIANCE

KW - DIFFUSE-REFLECTANCE SPECTROSCOPY

KW - BULK-DENSITY

KW - LONG-TERM EXPERIMENTS

KW - LAND-USE CHANGE

KW - ORGANIC-CARBON

KW - AGRICULTURAL SOILS

KW - IN-SITU

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