Can Compost Fight Global Warming?

Given that we’re currently producing nearly two tons of compost on a weekly basis, we’re keenly interested in compost research. For the most part we encounter lots of encouraging reports about how compost improves crop yield or improves the viability of reforestation efforts. But today we came across a study showing that compost may be able to play an important role in fighting global warming.

Rebecca Ryals and Whendee Silver’s recent paper in Ecological Applications presents their findings that after a single application of composted organic matter, California rangelands significantly increased grassland carbon storage as a result of increased plant growth. This means that, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that occur through traditional waste management practices, composting may have a direct role to play in mitigating climate change.

While this study was specific to California rangelands and therefore quite different from the agricultural conditions that SOIL is working with in Haiti, we find the results of this study to be an encouraging endorsement of how improved ecosystem management can have a wide range of positive impacts on our world.

We look forward to reading more research from the Ryals and Silver lab and to continuing to conduct on our studies on the impact of SOIL’s EcoSan-produced compost here in Haiti.

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1 Reply to "Can Compost Fight Global Warming?"

  • Prakash
    September 13, 2013 (4:18 am)

    Dear friends in SOIL:
    I have voted in your favour! Our best wishes to you for winning the award.
    In ndia the Farm Yard Manure is considered as the most important, easily avaialble low cost plant groowing nutrient. As the agro-waste and wasted fodder and animal waste are used in the composting, the role of livestock is considered essential by farm-families and treasured.
    What a good compost contributes is not just N, P, K but several micro-nutrities and living microbes that condition the soil enabling the plant.
    The chemical causes harm to these living microbes and aiding elements thus depletin the soil and reducing it to a life-less mineral.
    I am happy know your efforts to use and apply human waste also in composting.
    Keep up the good work.

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