ABC Rural March 26, 2014 Tasmanian Country Hour Jane Ryan
The carbon content of Australia’s soil has been mapped in incredible detail for the first time.
Carbon levels have been estimated across every 90 by 90 metre square of the country using soil sampling data and modelling.
Lead researcher on the CSIRO project, Dr Raphael Viscarra Rossel, says this is the first time Australia has ever had a national benchmark for carbon levels in the soil.
“For the first time, we were able to test baseline levels for soil carbon across the country,” he said.
“It gives us not only the total amount we have as a country as a whole, but also for each of our states and territories, for each land use type and for different vegetation classes.”
Dr Viscarra Rossel says this map will help measure the success of future climate change policies.
“This map provides the first ever baseline from which future changes as a result of, for example, management of climate change will be able to be measured,” he said.
He says the map will also help farmers and other landowners who want to pursue carbon sequestration through programs such as the Carbon Farming Initiative.
“It will help to offset carbon together with other data on land management practices,” he said.
“Because the mapping is done at 90 by 90 metre intervals, it will help farmers know what they might expect in their regions, in their landscapes and in their soils.
“But they may need further sampling to know more about local areas, individual farms or paddocks.”