North Dakota grasslands carbon storage research site

Photo courtesy of Envato Elements

From staff reports
Carbon storage continues to be at the forefront of many research initiatives in the United States, including one in North Dakota. Beginning this spring and lasting for three years, researchers will take grassland soil samples and analyze them for carbon storage potential.Besides North Dakota, samples will be taken from grasslands in Texas and New Mexico for this project. The research is being led by BCarbon, a Texas based organization looking to gather data and determine differences between northern and southern dry region climates. “Once you get up into the north, you’ve got a shorter growing season,” Founder Jim Blackburn said. “Do you just put a lot more carbon in the ground in a shorter time? Or is there less carbon going in because your growing season is shorter? These are the types of questions we have.”

The carbon storage process is when carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants which then release it into the soil. That carbon is then stored and not released into the atmosphere. Land management is key as to how long the carbon can remain stored. Proponents of carbon sequestration feel this is a way to help mitigate negative activities that contribute to climate change. 

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