- The Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS) is a USDA funded intiative whose
goal is to investigate the potential for agriculture to sequester (or store) greenhouse gases (GHG). The members are
- Research Areas at UNL
- Basic research on processes and mechanisms of soil C
- 1. Understanding of processes controlling soil C transformations and stabilization
- Manipulation of soil biochemistry and enzymology.
- Analyzing the role of soil structure in sequestering carbon.
- Applying advanced techniques to track the fate of specific C compounds.
- 2. Enhancement of carbon sequestering capacity.
- Manipulation of the capacity of degraded lands to sequester carbon.
- Manipulation of carbon allocation patterns of crops.
- Manipulation of plant chemistry to enhance stabilization of plant residues.
- Development and assessment of best management practices (BMP)
- 1. Partnerships with Federal, State and private organizations in defining and assessing BMPs.
- 2. Compiling existing long-term field data on soil carbon changes for use in model validation.
- Coordinate new sampling of appropriate sites to develop a database on soil carbon changes.
- Organize associated information on productivity, management history and other factors.
- 3. Economic assessments of BMPs.
- Economic feasibility of adopting new technologies
- Efficiency and comparative cost estimates of sequestering soil C for different policies, locations, and production practices.
- Co-benefits and co-costs of carbon sequestration, including full accounting of changes in carbon equivalent emissions.
- Prediction and assessment of C sequestration and GHG emissions
- 1. Field-scale decision-support planning tool and models.
- Quantify/predict soil carbon sequestration rates and potentials and N2O and CH4 emissions.
- Evaluate alternative management strategies with respect to net returns or other criteria.
- 2. Farm-level planning tool and models.
- Full greenhouse gas accounting, with inclusion of livestock operations.
- Analyze impacts of mitigation practices on farm level net returns.
- Evaluate environmental co-benefits/co-costs at farm level.
- Integrate with the field-scale model into a mitigation “tool kit”.
- 3. Regional and National assessments.
- Analysis of impacts of carbon sequestration policies on the agricultural economy.
- Quantification of economic and biophysical uncertainties and geographic variability.
- Evaluation of economic and environmental tradeoffs for policy options.
- Evaluation of monitoring and transaction costs.
- Evaluation of environmental co-benefits/co-costs.
- 4. National level inventories of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Improved estimates for annual inventories.
- Advanced design for inventory methods with automated data retrieval and calculations.
- Development and testing of inventory approaches for application in other countries.
- Measurement and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions and emission reductions
- 1. Field-scale measurement programs that enable comparison of methods for estimating
carbon sequestration, N2O emissions and CH4 uptake
under specific climate-soil-management conditions.
- 2. Design of integrated mechanisms to monitor carbon sequestration and net GHG emissions.
- Evaluate existing models and inventory procedures.
- Test aggregation procedures across spatial and temporal scales using data and models.
- Investigate and develop the use of remotely sensed data as inputs to measurement and monitoring systems.
- 3. Review existing contracts for obtaining environmental services and investigate feasible
designs for soil carbon contracts in major agricultural regions of the U.S.
- 4. Develop a spatial hierarchy (field to region) for which soil carbon measurement methods could be
- 5. Partner with USDA, other Federal and state agencies to establish a nationwide monitoring
- Periodic measurement of carbon stocks and net changes in stocks.
- Combine with flux measurements to estimate carbon sequestration and net GHG emissions.
- Use in verifying model-based estimates of carbon sequestration rates.
- Determine uncertainty limits in carbon sequestration estimates.
- Outreach and technology transfer
- 1. Providing information to stakeholders.
- Annual reports and papers.
- Meetings and symposia.
- Software and documentation.
- Scientific and trade journal publications.
- Popular press and multi-media publications.
- Internet website.
- 2. Documentation and distribution of analytical tools.
- Models and data protocols for national inventories.
- Models and data protocols for farm-level quantification of carbon sequestration.
- Models for linked environmental / economic appraisal of sequestration options.
- 3. Collaboration with scientists, economists and policy analysts in other countries.
- Continued involvement in IPCC activities.
- Participation in pilot projects in developing countries for testing inventory methodology and carbon