The Science

Extensive scientific research from around the world has emerged in the past few years showing us the impact that soil health has on climate change. We are now learning how soil organic matter greatly affects the entire carbon cycle, and that how we manage farms, ranches, and natural wetlands and grasslands may provide the key to solving the greatest threat facing the planet.

Carbon is one of our more ubiquitous elements and key to every living thing on earth. Like water, carbon has a cycle. It is stored in oil and coal and in living things and gets released when those things die or burn. And because nature is the perfect system, it gets recycled back to be used again, keeping carbon levels—and our atmosphere—in perfect balance.

Recently we have disrupted that cycle and thrown the carbon balance off, resulting in an increasingly destabilized climate. Scientists are now telling us that the way we grow our food may be the single greatest contributor to that disruption, and the greatest opportunity to restore both the carbon balance and the climate.

Industrial techniques like deep tilling, mono-cropping, and overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is now diminishing soil’s natural ability to draw carbon back down, trapping it in our atmosphere. Changing current techniques can restore the soil, reboot lost photosynthetic activity, and help enable nature to again re-balance carbon levels currently out of balance due to human activity.

The Carbon Underground maintains a curated collection of significant research papers, educational resources, news articles, and advocacy media available free to all users. We provide strategic market and science-based programs and consulting services focused on reversing climate change by improving how we grow and produce food, and by the restoration and maintenance of soil health.