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Soil carbon sequestration: monitoring and evaluation


   Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

  Dr Farshad Amiraslani, Dr J Arnscheidt  Monday, February 06, 2023  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Improved management of soil organic carbon content is fundamental for tackling climate change and food insecurity. Increasing soil carbon storage through a rise in soil organic carbon capture (SOC) has been promoted globally. Therefore, research is required for constant assessment and evaluation of SOC and addressing knowledge gaps relating to SOC in various environmental and climatic settings. This research aims to improve our knowledge and understanding of soil organic carbon capture at regional, national and international levels.

Key research questions  

1- How does SOC vary in lands within different zonal landscapes?

2- How can we develop a reliable and quick field/satellite imagery assessment of SOC?

3- What is the pattern of SOC variations across different climatic and altitude settings?

Numerous measures and techniques for measuring soil carbon stocks have been proposed. This PhD project seeks novel approaches to assess soil organic carbon capture across various landscapes. It will encompass the assessment of variations in SOC in different zonal landscapes, develop a reliable and quick field/satellite imagery assessment of SOC, and the pattern of SOC variations across different climatic and altitude settings.

The project will involve field surveys with soil sampling, laboratory tests for assessing soil properties as well as acquisition and analysis of high resolution satellite imagery.

A driving licence valid for driving in the UK, physical ability to conduct fieldwork under challenging conditions and general experience in laboratory analysis and basic statistics are essential applicant requirements for this project. Some experience with geographic information systems and remote sensing would be desirable.


References

1- FAO & ITPS, 2015. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils. Status of the World’s Soil Resources
2- Lal R (2020). Managing soils for negative feedback to climate change and positive impact on food and nutritional security. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 66:1, 1-9, DOI:10.1080/00380768.2020.1718548
3- Rumpel C et al. (2020). The 4p1000 Initiative: Opportunities, limitations and challenges for implementing soil organic sequestration as a sustainable development strategy. Ambio 49 (1): 350-360; doi.10.1007/s13280-019-01165-2
4- Rumpel C et al. (2018). Put more carbon in soils to meet Paris climate pledges. Nature 564: 32-34.
5- Sandermann J et al (2017) Soil carbon debt of 12,000 years of human land use. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114:9575–9580 10.1073/pnas.1706103114.
6- Soussana, JF, et al. (2019). Matching policy and science: Rationale for the ‘‘4 per 1000 - soils for food security and climate’’ initiative. Soil and Tillage Research 188: 3–15.

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