Friday, June 10, 2011

Kiwi soils surprise scientists: Steady State theory looks shakey

The news from New Zealnd is shocking: "A group of leading soil scientists say there have been significant changes in soil carbon levels on farms." Until now the iron-clad consensus of the science community was that soils in New Zealand were saturated in carbon - that they had reached 'steady state' and could not go any further. See our report written in 2008 after a study tour of NZ - Steady State NZ. Radio NZ reports that a major research project found that

"a number of lowland dairying properties have lost carbon over the last 20 years, but hill country farms have, surprisingly, gained carbon in their soils."

The research initiative is a collaboration between the crown research institutes Plant and Food, AgResearch and Landcare.
"Programme leader Dr Brent Clothier from Plant and Food says some changes are contrary to what scientists had thought would happen, so they are trying to understand the mechanism behind the changes," says the report.

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