Carbon Action brings together and conducts top research. The aim is to find out how carbon is sequestered in soils, how to verify sequestration and what are the types of agricultural practices which speed up the carbon sequestration. This information is critical for mitigating climate change presently, since simply cutting down emissions is not enough.

The scientific research in Carbon Action is coordinated by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. LUKE, SYKE and the University of Helsinki are taking part in the research network, which is developed and expanded with science workshops and discussions. The network is open by nature and new researchers conducting studies on the topic are welcomed to join.

Research in Carbon Action is done in cooperation with the farmers registered in the project, so that it can take into consideration the understanding and practices from the grassroot level already at the research stage.

Scientific research knowledge is obtained and utilized at multiple levels: at the core level soil analysis, microbiological analysis, atmospheric measurements and modeling are used to study the movement and sequestration of carbon in the test fields. Field experiments studying the impacts of farming practices on carbon movement and sequestration are set up on ten farms. One hundred Carbon Farms implement the practices and collect experiences from the practices and the impact on soil health and yields from those practices. The results from the research are introduced to the farms and submitted to the general public.

The research utilizes scientific excellence of atmospheric sciences in flux measurements and studies how information from satellites and laser scanning could be utilized in studying carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. The range of research methods broadens with the expansion of the research network.

The goal of the two-year project is to also secure the future funding of further research and implementation activities, as well as to carry on with the important long-term studies. The aim of the pilot project is also to make sure that the research is conducted to especially produce the most urgently needed information on climate change mitigation.

Carbon Action is taking part in international research

Due to the seriousness of the climate crisis, a lot of new research is done on soil carbon sequestration at the moment. This issue has been brought to the agendas of the governments and research institutes by the widely accepted 4 per mille initiative, which was launched in connection with the COP21 in Paris.

The central idea of the initiative is to increase global soil carbon stocks by 0.4 % per year. By increasing the carbon stocks in the top 1 m of agricultural soils by 0.4 % per year, 2.5 Gt of carbon can be sequestered per year, which is 30 % of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels (Minasny et. al 2017). The initiative is at research state and the central subjects of research are how to achieve carbon sequestration in practice and how to measure soil carbon sequestration in reliable and general manners. The Finnish Carbon Action-project has already sparked international interest as it ambitiously brings together research from different fields as well as agricultural practitioners.

For more information:
Head of Climate System Research Unit, Research Professor
Finnish Meteorological Institute
Jari Liski

Minasny, B., Malone, B. P., McBratney, A. B., Angers, D. A., Arrouays, D., Chambers, A., Chaplot, V., Chen, Z., Cheng, K., Das, B. S., Field, D. J., Gimona, A., Hedley, C. B., Hong, S. Y., Mandal, B., Marchant, B. P., Martin, M., McConkey, B. G., Mulder, V. L., O’Rourke, S., Richer-de-Forges, A. C., Odeh, I., Padarian, J., Paustian, K., Pan, G., Poggio, L., Savin, I., Stolbovoy, V., Stockmann, U., Sulaeman, Y., Tsui, C., Vågen, T., van Wesemael, B. & Winowiecki, L. 2017. Soil carbon 4 per mille. Geoderma, Volume 292: 59-86.