Recently, the contributions of the soil in various ecosystems have become more prominent with the recognition of its role as a carbon sink and the potential of that in reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a vital greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere. Conversely, the soil capacity to increase the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere through mineralization of organic matter is also a source of concern. Mineralization of only 10% of the soil organic carbon pool globally is believed to be equivalent to about 30 years of anthropogenic emissions. This underscores the need to preventing carbon loss (emission) from the soil resource. Globally, the soil contains a large carbon pool estimated at approximately 1500Gt of organic carbon in the first one meter of the soil profile. This is much higher than the 560 Gt of carbon (C) found in the biotic pool and twice more than atmospheric CO2. By holding this huge carbon stock, the soil is preventing carbon dioxide build up in the atmosphere which will confound the problem of climate change. There are a lot of strategies used in sequestering carbon in different soils, however, many challenges are being encountered in making them cost effective and widely acceptable.
Part of the book: Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration