Where things stand on carbon science

What’s the state of the science when it comes to sequestering carbon in the soil, such as through farming? Check out an official position statement issued by CFAES’ renowned Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration. The brief statement, released Aug. 2, summarizes where the science is clear, where it’s less so, and a strategy for going forward. It mentions, too, a current hot topic, farmers earning carbon credits.

Read the full statement. (Photo: Getty Images.)

Ohio State hosts UK diplomats for climate change discussion

From Ohio State NewsRepresentatives of local government, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and Ohio State gathered on Wednesday, June 2, to share climate successes and insight with United Kingdom diplomatic leaders as they prepare to host the U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, in November.

During the discussion, Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson highlighted the university’s climate change research, including the work of Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science with CFAES.

Read the story.

Woodlot warriors: Your trees as fighters of climate change

Can the trees in your woods help battle climate change? Find out in a webinar by the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, part of OSU Extension, CFAES’ outreach arm. It’s from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, May 7. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Included in the Q&A discussion, among others, will be CFAES professor Brent Sohngen, whose research on trees as climate solutions was featured in a recent post.

Learn more about the webinar and register.

Earth Day webinar: Soil as climate solution

Ever wonder what it will take to slow down the planet’s warming?

The cause is excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the answer might be right under our feet.

A webinar set for Thursday, April 22, 1–2 p.m., hosted by the CFAES Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, will celebrate Earth Day with insights from Ohio State faculty on Earth’s carbon cycle, and how we can restore it by storing carbon in soils.

Participation is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Find out more and register.

(From Alayna DeMartini, CFAES Advancement; photo: Getty Images.)

Major new effort announced to restore soil

In heavily farmed parts of Central America, South America, and across the Caribbean, “the most degraded soils have not reached the point of no return. They can still be restored.”

So says CFAES’ Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and 2020 World Food Prize laureate, who’s helping lead a new, 34-country initiative to tackle that restoration.

Why it’s important: Some 36 million people in the region don’t have enough good food to eat, and degraded soils play a role in it. Success, Lal says, will mean “we can eliminate hunger and malnutrition in the region, and we can protect the natural resources that are now being degraded.”

Read the story.

CFAES reads for Sept. 10, 2020

Pandemic-related cooking and eating habits could help curb food waste—if consumers stick to them

Washington Post, Aug. 31; featuring Brian Roe, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Farming releases carbon from the Earth’s soil into the air. Can we put it back?

NPR, Aug. 18; featuring Rattan Lal, School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR)

A watershed moment for U.S. water quality

Ohio State News, Aug. 13; featuring Mažeika Sullivan, SENR

Carbon farming ‘a bridge to the future’?

Bloomberg reports that “Al Gore Is Opening a New Front In the War on Climate Change”—farming practices that sequester carbon dioxide in the soil—and CFAES’ own world expert on the subject, Rattan Lal, visited the former vice president’s farm in Tennessee to look at, walk upon, and talk about the possibilities. Excellent story by Emily Chasan, Bloomberg’s sustainable finance editor.

Lal directs CFAES’ Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. Earlier this year he was awarded the Japan Prize.

Rattan Lal quoted in Wall Street Journal

CFAES’ Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and a 2019 winner of the prestigious Japan Prize, was interviewed for a recent story in the Wall Street Journal. In “How to Get Rid of Carbon Emissions: Pay Farmers to Bury Them,” Lal talks about whether paying farmers to sequester carbon to fight the climate crisis is realistic or not, and what some feasible goals could be. The story is here, but you’ll need a subscription to read it.

Lal founded and directs CFAES’ Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. In the video above, he explains the interconnected reasons for storing organic matter (such as carbon) in the soil.

Regenerative agriculture a ‘win-win-win’

An op-ed in the May 13 edition of the Los Angeles Times quotes CFAES scientist Rattan Lal on the benefits of regenerative agriculture—practices such as using compost, minimizing tillage, and growing cover crops. Regenerative agriculture is a “win-win-win option” that can make the soil healthier, increase food production, and help fight climate change, he is quoted as saying. But it is “not widely understood” yet by policymakers, the public, and many farmers.

Lal, a recent recipient of the prestigious Japan Prize, is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Read the op-ed.