In Iowa, deep-pocketed corporations are hoping to build carbon dioxide pipelines across hundreds of miles of farmland. But county governments are putting the brakes on development by passing ordinances to protect people in the pipelines' path. In response, Summit Carbon Solutions, the company farthest along in the state's permitting process, is punching back, filing federal lawsuits to overturn the ordinances and forcing counties to spend scarce taxpayer dollars to defend themselves. (No paywall)
Research by Northeastern University indicates soil on organic farms contains more of a key component for sequestering carbon than soils on other farms, said the Organic Trade Association. The trade group said the study, which compared samples of soil from across the country, "provides a significant proof point that organic agricultural practices build healthy soils and can be part of the solution in the fight on global warming."
Midwesterners sweltering in hot, muggy weather this summer are hearing that their agricultural mainstay—corn—is at least partly responsible for their discomfort. This is because the corn plants transpire, drawing moisture into the air, which adds to the humidity. One can think of transpiration as the crop “sweating”—the plant’s means of staying cool.
For the first time, scientists have found methane-producing microbes living near the earth's surface, rather than in volcanic vents in the ocean floor, says the American Geophysical Union. The study "also shows the newly-discovered microbes are likely capable of using carbon dioxide to produce methane — a finding that could have implications for future carbon sequestration projects."
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a $72.3 million allocation within the cost-sharing Environmental Quality Incentive Program for activities that boost carbon storage in healthy soil. Vilsack unveiled the initiative during a one-year review of USDA's Climate Smart program to help meet U.S. pledges to mitigate climate change.
The Agriculture Department released a report that, "for the first time, provides uniform scientific methods for quantifying the changes in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage from various land management and conservation activities."