Soil Erosion and Carbon Dioxide

Authored by: Pierre A. Jacinthe , Rattan Lal

Managing Soils and Terrestrial Systems

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342651
eBook ISBN: 9780429346255
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 24% 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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