Enhanced U.S. soil carbon mapping with AI

Apr 04, 2024

By Farms.com

The battle against climate change receives a significant boost from an innovative approach to measuring soil organic carbon. By employing machine learning to analyze extensive soil sample data, scientists have crafted a more precise continental-scale estimate of soil organic carbon in the United States, as reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research — Biogeosciences.  

This research underscores soil's pivotal role as a carbon sink and its capacity to impact climate change mitigation efforts. With nearly 50,000 soil samples from various U.S. regions analyzed, the study reveals how different environmental variables, including climate and vegetation, influence soil carbon levels.  

The approach not only rectifies inconsistencies in previous estimates but also paves the way for targeted land management strategies that could enhance carbon sequestration. This advancement is crucial for policymakers and land managers striving to implement climate-smart practices.  

The collaboration of experts from Emory University, Colorado State University, and several national laboratories, supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, marks a significant step toward harnessing the power of soil in climate mitigation efforts.

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