Carbon Farmers Work to Clean Up the World’s Mess

Read the full post at Sapiens.

Noting that climate change was causing droughts and floods throughout the world, Pedro told me that he and members of his organic cooperative were working, on their farms, to “mitigate the problems of carbon.” They were using a series of agricultural practices that have gained increasing global attention in recent years as a potential climate solution. The practices themselves are not new. But the reasons why people are paying attention have changed.

The approach is sometimes called carbon farming. It’s based on the principle that plants take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during photosynthesis. While much of that carbon stays in the plants themselves, some of it also travels into the soil. And when plants die, more carbon is added to the ground as organic material. The idea is that some agricultural practices—like planting cover crops instead of leaving soil exposed, using compost instead of synthetic chemicals, and planting a diversity of crops instead of a monoculture—can help to keep more carbon out of the atmosphere than their alternatives.

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