Building on the soil theme, there’s a fabulously detailed new study on “natural climate solutions” (NCS); it tells us how to use conservation, restoration, and land management actions across forests, wetlands, grasslands, and farmland. The actions will increase carbon storage and avoid greenhouse gas emissions. The study states that NCS is a pathway for near-term solutions to climate change, providing 37% of needed reductions up until 2030, and 20% to 2050. The full document is available online at: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/10/11/1710465114.full.
There are other studies that feature these kinds of solutions, but this is an excellent overview of just how much potential impact these types of activities can have. According to the study:
Warming will likely be held to below 2 degrees C if natural pathways are implemented at cost-effective levels indicated in Fig. 1, and if we avoid increases in fossil fuel emissions for 10 years and then drive them down to 7% of current levels byy 2050 and then to zero by 2095.
What are these solutions? Here is a snapshot of Fig. 1:
Source: Griscom et al
Here’s a link to a website dedicated to some of these subjects: http://nature4climate.org/; and here is a quick list, with links (not endorsements) to some related reading:
- Reforestation – US Forest Service; The Largest Ever Tropical Reforestation Is Planting 73 Million Trees
- Avoided forest conversion: Carbon for Conservation: Avoided Conversion of our Forests
- Natural forest management: Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UN
- Improved plantations: Tree planting : technologies to improve forestry investments
- Avoided woodfuel: FAO: IMPLICATIONS OF WOODFUEL USE FOR GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
- Fire management: U. of NM: Fire Management in a Changing Climate (PDF)
- Biochar: related posts; International Biochar Initiative
- Trees in croplands: Nature4Climate
- Nutrient management: U of MN
- Conservation agriculture, grazing, rice: Nature4Climate
- Avoided grassland conversion: Environmental Defense Fund; American Carbon Registry
- Coastal restoration: The Nature Conservancy; Rustic Pathways
- Peat restoration: Wetlands International; Life-Peat-Restore
Each one of these subjects is a blog post or a book of it’s own, or probably a library of books in some cases; the links are just to dip your toes in the topic. So many opportunities here! One could also start out by looking for educational programs online or at universities. Let us know if you want help with that.
Natural climate solutions are good for (among other things):
- Humanity: new industries, job and educational opportunities, better health, purposeful work
- Climate: ecosystem health improvements, resource management, decreased CO2
- Economy: new industries and jobs, impact investment opportunities, new products and services
Can you see yourself getting involved with natural climate solutions? Post a comment!
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