Whendee Silver

“Previous research points to some promising avenues for carbon capture and storage through the use of soil amendments,” said Silver. “For example, we found that adding organic waste — food waste, green waste, livestock manure — as composted soil amendments could save the equivalent of 28 million tons of carbon dioxide using just 5 percent of California’s rangelands. That’s equal to approximately 80 percent of the emissions from the state’s agriculture and forestry sector.”

At the end of the three years, the consortium plans to deliver the most promising “shovel-ready” soil amendment strategies for capturing carbon dioxide in soil.

In addition to UC Berkeley and UC Davis, the consortium also includes scientists from UC Merced, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and California State University, East Bay. The group will be working with the California Collaborative for Climate Change Solutions (C4S), Larta Institute, the Almond Board of California, commercial manufacturers of compost and biochar, ranchers and farmers, carbon offset registries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture California Climate Hub, and UC Cooperative Extension.

The project will also engage with tribal nations and indigenous communities that are already using innovative strategies and actions to enhance carbon sequestration in the land.