Map of measured soil carbon change

This is a mapping project for measured changes in soil carbon content over time (as well as Soil Carbon Challenge entries, in yellow). The purpose is not to aggregate "offsets" or to make broad predictions, but to show what's possible as verified by actual measurements. When the purpose is to show what is possible, rather than to generate a broad-scale prediction or quantify carbon offsets, questions of statistical reliability are less troubling.

There are many stories that are told about soil carbon, and what its possibilities are. Much conversation on this topic has substituted assumptions for observations. Repeated measurements at the same location appear to be rare.

If you have data you would like to include, or can suggest good data, please contact us, info at soilcarboncoalition dot org, or you may start with a data form.

Carbon gains and losses are expressed in metric tons of carbon (not carbon dioxide) per hectare per year, or as annual percentage increase where bulk density measurements have not been taken.

Go to the map

Conversions

To convert carbon to CO2, multiply by 3.67. For CO2 to C, multiply by .273. (The molecular weight of CO2 is 16 for each oxygen atom, and 12 for the carbon atom, so the ratio of CO2 to C is 44:12.)

To convert hectares to acres, multiply by 2.47. To convert acres to hectares, multiply by .404.

To convert metric tons C per hectare to metric tons CO2 per acre, multiply by 1.52. To convert tons CO2 per acre to tons C per hectare, multiply by .658.

Comments

The Rapid Assessment of Carbon Project,
Providing a Baseline Soil Carbon Survey that is 60% complete
NRCS Soils Website: http://soils.usda.gov/

The Ag Soil Carbon Standard
The Ag Soil Carbon Sequestration Standards; approved by the USDA & EPA. Reviewed by both Congressional Ag Committees, who have asked for expansion of this Soil Carbon Standard to ISO status, the application was denied under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, it is now in rewrite for resubmission. I savor the idea that the whole world could be on the same soil carbon page and get farmers payed for their good soil-C works.
Read over the work so far;
http://www.novecta.com/documents/Carbon-Standard.pdf

Remote Sensing;
NASA’s EO-1 hyperspectral imagery data has been used to discern Amazonian black earth, or Terra Preta soils. The full complement of earth sensing satellites, using multiple proxy measurements of soil moisture to 3 feet depth, temperature & density , even reading GHG emissions, Dead & Alive biomass from the tree tops down at 1 hectare resolutions when the Orbital Carbon Observer 2 is aloft in 2013.
NASA’s Space Archaeology; $364K Terra Preta Program
http://archaeologyexcavations.blogspot.com/2010/08/time-traveling-via-sa...
Sowing Seeds With New Agricultural Carbon Accounting Tool Carbon dioxide emissions from agricultural activity in the United States can now be tracked with unprecedented resolution because of a method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory team led by Tristram West. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602131436.htm

Soils Saves Seas, The new trump card in climate change will be ocean acidity, the new science now shows a simple direct linear relationship between the CO2 levels & acidity, building soil Carbon is the simple solution.