Erosion and Carbon Dioxide

Authored by: Pierre A. Jacinthe , Rattan Lal

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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The projected warming of global climate and the degradation of land resources by erosion are among the most pressing environmental challenges of the modern era. Although fossil fuel burning is the primary contributor to the current atmospheric CO2 buildup, it is estimated that agriculture and land-use change contributed 25% of total anthropogenic emissions of CO2. In soils, evolution of CO2 occurs through soil respiration which includes root respiration and the microbial decomposition of crop residues and soil humus. This entry proposes that water erosion, as a mechanism for SOC removal, has a profound effect on the global CO2 budget, and presents an approach to assess erosion-induced CO2 emission into the atmosphere.

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