Assessment Shows Natural Lands Can Help Absorb Greenhouse-Gas Pollution

A peer-reviewed study in Science Advances from The Nature Conservancy and 21 institutional partners found that natural lands including forests, agricultural lands, coastal wetlands, and grasslands could offset 21% of the nation?s current net annual emissions. The study notes that land management practices would have to be changed to increase carbon storage and avoid greenhouse emissions. In particular, the study cites increased reforestation as the largest means to achieve greater carbon storage. The study also recommends re-enrolling 13 million acres of marginal cropland in conservation programs and restoring them to provide habitat and storage of carbon in the soil. In addition, the study says farmers should optimize their nutrient application and utilize cover crops to increase land’s carbon-storage ability.