Research ArticleCLIMATOLOGY

The potential of agricultural land management to contribute to lower global surface temperatures

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Science Advances  29 Aug 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 8, eaaq0932
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaq0932
  • Fig. 1 Impact of constant global rates of C sequestration (Pg C year−1) on mean surface temperatures by target year (2016–2100) for a climate sensitivity of 3°C per doubling of atmospheric CO2.

    A 0.1°C reduction is highlighted by white lines. Different graphs indicate different RCP scenarios. Bars show the range of continued C sequestration rates needed to achieve a 0.1°C reduction in 2050, 2075, and 2100, respectively, under a range of alternative climate sensitivities from 1.5°C per doubling (upper bound) to 4.5°C per doubling (lower bound) (32). Upward arrows represent low CO2 sensitivity upper bounds that are higher than the range of C sequestration rates (0 to 2 Pg C year−1) considered in this study; error bars are not symmetric around the 0.1°C reduction line due to nonlinearities in CO2 forcing.

  • Fig. 2 Impact of SOC sequestration rate (Pg C year−1) and effective sequestration years on 2100 global mean surface temperature for a climate sensitivity of 3°C per doubling CO2 with a 0.1°C reduction (highlighted by a white line).

    A range of potential C sequestration rates are shown in the center of the chart, as well as their combined potential (black solid). The vertical dashed line shows the mean estimated potential of 0.83 Pg C year−1 for reference.

  • Table 1 Published global estimates of management amenable agricultural land and the C sequestration potential of land management techniques.
    ManagementLand typeRange of published amenable
    land area estimates (Mha)
    Range of published potential C
    sequestration rates (Mg C ha−1 year−1)
    Sources
    Improved cropland managementCropland380–19100.08–1.85(16, 17, 26, 34, 36)
    Improved grazing land managementGrazing land500–29000.09–1.70(16, 17, 26, 35, 36)

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/4/8/eaaq0932/DC1

    Fig. S1. SimMod emulator climate model transient (solid red) temperature response compared to CMIP5 multimodel mean (black line) and 2.5 to 97.5% spread (gray area) for each RCP scenario.

    Fig. S2. RCP (solid lines) and SimMod emulator climate model (dashed lines) atmospheric concentrations of CO2, N2O, and CH4 for each scenario (53).

    Fig. S3. A schematic illustration of the concept of effective sequestration years (ESY).

    Fig. S4. Same as Fig. 2 in the text but with the inclusion of biochar and for a range of sequestration rates from 0 to 3 Pg C year−1.

    Table S1. Summary of global soil C sequestration potential (Pg C year−1) by agricultural land management.

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Fig. S1. SimMod emulator climate model transient (solid red) temperature response compared to CMIP5 multimodel mean (black line) and 2.5 to 97.5% spread (gray area) for each RCP scenario.
    • Fig. S2. RCP (solid lines) and SimMod emulator climate model (dashed lines) atmospheric concentrations of CO2, N2O, and CH4 for each scenario (53).
    • Fig. S3. A schematic illustration of the concept of effective sequestration years (ESY).
    • Fig. S4. Same as Fig. 2 in the text but with the inclusion of biochar and for a range of sequestration rates from 0 to 3 Pg C year−1.
    • Table S1. Summary of global soil C sequestration potential (Pg C year−1) by agricultural land management.

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