How changing the way we farm could reduce greenhouse gas emissions

A recent study by the Rodale Institute documents how specific organic farming practices can trap a majority of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. On a global scale, this could even lead to a net decrease in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels — or, in other words, help reverse climate change.

The study, “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming,” highlights soil’s natural ability to trap carbon from the atmosphere. This process, called carbon sequestration, occurs when photosynthesis removes carbon from the air faster than other biological processes, like respiration, release it.

According to the Rodale, if half of the world’s croplands were shifted to regenerative methods, the world could reduce net annual greenhouse gas emissions from 51 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent to below 41– the threshold necessary by 2020 to limit global warming to 1.5º C.

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