Soil carbon can help combat climate change.
We are tracking soil carbon change and have predicted the potential amount of carbon our soils could hold. Using that, you can see the areas where action can make the biggest impact.
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Depth 0-15 cm
Soil Organic Carbon: 498 Pg
Did you know? Globally, soils hold at least two trillion tonnes of organic carbon; around three times as much as the atmosphere.
Carbon in the Atmosphere: 860 billion tonsOrganic Carbon in Soils: 2060 billion tons / 0-200 cm
Depth 0-30 cm
Soil Organic Carbon: 755 Pg
But due to agriculture, the world’s soils have lost 116 billion tons of organic carbon or roughly a fourth of all carbon emitted by humans since the Industrial Revolution.
Aerial view of a crop field near a forest
Aerial view of circular crop fields
Aerial view of various crop fields
Depth 0-50 cm
Soil Organic Carbon: 993 Pg
That means more carbon in the atmosphere, less productive soil for crops to grow in, and reduced ability for soil to retain water.
Illustration of the soils layers
Depth 0-100 cm
Soil Organic Carbon: 1,408 Pg
A relatively small increase in the soil organic carbon stocks in the topsoil would significantly reduce the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. When realised, such an increase would help to stabilise the climate and ensure food security.
Depth 0-150 cm
Soil Organic Carbon: 1,778 Pg
Main benefits:
Soil use and management have a direct effect on climate change by altering emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Judicious land management can reduce these emissions and remove CO2 from the atmosphere by storing it in the soil.
Depth 0-200 cm
Soil Organic Carbon: 2,060 Pg
Check out our maps with soil organic carbon predictions and trends for the past and for future scenarios.