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Soil: "Not Just Dirt"

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Soil may be one of the keys to offsetting carbon emissions.

Researchers with the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources authored two papers to highlight the importance of soil quality.

They found that with proper management, soil can not only provide food security and improve water quality – it may also help in offsetting future carbon emissions.

Soil does this by storing organic matter – such as decomposing plant and animal residue.

Susan Crow is a Soil Ecologist at UH and a co-author of the papers.

She says soil can store more carbon than plants and the atmosphere combined.


Crow says residents do their part by using organic fertilizer, compost and/or woodchips to improve soil quality.

She adds more research needs to be done to understand and protect soil and its capabilities. 

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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