Global warming caused by the greenhouse gases has resulted in unprecedented climatic changes. Various anthropogenic as well as natural processes serve as sources for emission of carbon dioxide, the most potent greenhouse gas. Soil carbon stocks, a key determinant of soil health is getting depleted at a fast rate, indirectly placing the global food security at stake. Considerable variability in the soil organic carbon stocks exists in above and below ground phytomass, which vary with latitude and climatic regions and with different land use systems. The recalcitrant carbon fraction not only reduces the losses of soil organic carbon but also serve in locking up the carbon by way of soil carbon sequestration thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions and global warming to a considerable extent. Soil carbon sequestration includes a host of technologies that are employed which has the potential to greatly reduce, capture and store carbon produced both by anthropogenic factors and natural means in the soil. Mitigative and adaptive strategies of carbon sequestration are largely based on natural processes, engineering techniques and chemical transformations. A judicious land use and prudential adoption of recommended management practices is the need of the hour. While tillage based agriculture damages the soil, conservation agriculture builds soil quality, protects water quality, increases biodiversity and sequesters carbon. Pyrolytic production of biochar holds much prospect for soil carbon sequestration.
Dr. Naveen Leno
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, College of Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University, Vellayani, India.