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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2018, Vol. 17 Issue (04): 723-725    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61744-1
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Challenges to increasing the soil carbon pool of agro-ecosystems in China
LIN Er-da, GUO Li-ping, JU Hui
Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development of Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
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Abstract      Climate change will place agro-ecological systems and food security at serious risk. At the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December of 2015, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached a historic agreement (Paris Agreement) to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. An initiative named the “4‰ initiative: Soils for food security and climate” was proposed by the French Minister of Agriculture, and this initiative was launched officially at the COP21 and adopted by many global organizations. The aim of this initiative was to increase carbon sequestration in soil to mitigate fossil fuel combustion emissions of greenhouse gasses. The present study found that China has high CO2 emissions but a low soil carbon pool, and indicates that 4‰ increments of the soil carbon pool will not be sufficient to offset national CO2 emissions. The current soil carbon sequestration rate would also not reach the mean level requested by the initiative. Therefore, China faces big challenges to achieve this initiative. An integrated use of straw technology may be used more widely to improve carbon sequestration, and other opportunities include improved fertilizer use efficiency and greenhouse gas mitigation through the waste management project under construction in China. This paper suggests that China may put forward the biomass treatment centered high yield and fertilizer-carbon sequestration project to enhance resilience of agro-ecosystems to climate change.
Keywords:  soil organic carbon sequestration        climate change        greenhouse gas mitigation        agriculture resilience  
Received: 09 May 2017   Accepted:

The authors thank financial supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41675115), theNational Key Research and Development Programof China (2017YFD 0300301, 2017YFD0200106) and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LIN Er-da, E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

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