Originally posted by DeepThought
I thought methane was the big thing in farming, and that the main source of CO2 in farming was from fuel use - unless they are talking about loss of carbon-sink effect. More photosynthesizers locking carbon into sugars is obviously a help. I'd be prepared to believe a smaller claim of a carbon offset effect.
The issue is soil carbon.
If we pushed the soil carbon up by 30%, we would strip all carbon from the atmosphere.
Similarly, if we reduce soil carbon by 30% we double the atmospheric carbon.
I am sure that farming practices have significantly affected soil carbon in large parts of the world, the questions are how much, can it be reversed, and to how it compares relatively to the burning of fossil fuels/ carbon capture projects/ green energy projects.
For example, rather than building a nuclear plant, would it be better to spend the money on training farmers in better methods of farming.
On a related note, in Zambia, we heavily subsidise fertilizer. I am told that with better training, farmers can use significantly less fertilizer. I believe it would be cheaper to train farmers than to continue to subsidize the fertilizer.