Problem: Soil has the potential to help mitigate the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon. Hugely under-recognized and under-utilized as a storehouse for carbon, the soil has long been excluded from climate change discussions simply because it has historically been very difficult to know how much carbon is held in the soil.
Solution: Until recently, measuring soil carbon levels efficiently and reliably was only possible in a laboratory and with the use of sophisticated equipment. But now a new tool has made it possible to measure, monitor and verify soil carbon levels in the field.
Goals and Objectives: Effectively monitoring soil carbon content and quality in agricultural systems can help decision-makers develop soil protection strategies to mitigate the greenhouse gas effect caused by the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
Implementation: The solution is developed by researchers from the International Potato Center and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). The portable device uses laser-induced optical techniques: Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and Laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (LIFS), to measure soil carbon levels and can be used to improve planning and governance of different agro-ecosystems.
LIFS system was developed and patented by EMBRAPA-Agricultural Instrumentation. EMBRAPA and CIP have tested the devices in numerous agro-ecosystems of Brazil and southern Peru to confirm their accuracy, reliability, and ease of use.
Partners: The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA)
The International Potato Center
Tel. +511 3496017
Address: Avenida La Molina 1895, La Molina
Apartado Postal 1558, Lima, Peru