Tuesday, July 01, 2008


New data from U.S. government research shows that with agriculture using chemical fertilizers and herbicides, the U.S. food system contributes nearly 20 percent of the nation's carbon dioxide emissions. On a global scale, figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say that agricultural land use contributes 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Organically managed soils can convert carbon from a greenhouse gas into a food-producing asset. Results from a 10-year study at the Rodale Institute showed organic systems have the ability to capture up to 2,000 pounds of carbon per acre per year meaning more than 7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide are taken from the air and trapped in that field soil.

In 2006, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion were estimated at nearly 6.5 billion tons. If the 7,000 pounds of CO2 per acre per year sequestration rate had been achieved on all 434 million acres of cropland in the United States, nearly 1.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide would be sequestered per year, mitigating close to one quarter of the country's total fossil fuel emissions. . . . Tree Hugger