Modeling Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics, Carbon Sequestration, and the Climate Benefit of Sequestration

Carlos A. Sierra and Susan E. Crow

Understanding and fostering soil carbon sequestration, Edited by C. Rumpell, 2022


Mathematical models are essential for integrating different processes that control rates of soil carbon dynamics and for assessing carbon sequestration and the related climate benefits. Many models have been proposed in the literature to predict carbon stocks and fluxes, with no overall consensus on the best model that can provide relevant insights at a large range of scales and for multiple questions. We reviewed general groups of models with their expected ranges of application. We also reviewed recent advances in using models of any level of detail to compute carbon sequestration, and the climate benefit of carbon sequestration. Using agricultural soils from Sweden and Hawai'i as examples, we show that new carbon inputs to the soil do not remain for long timescales, and only small proportions are stabilized. Although soils are a promising reservoir to store carbon and mediate emissions, long timescales are required to store amounts of carbon of relevance to mitigate climate change.

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For additional information, contact: Carlos A. Sierra

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