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.