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Farming without disturbing soil could cut agriculture's climate impact by 30% – new research

By Sacha Mooney, Professor in Soil Physics and Director of the Hounsfield Facility at the University of Nottingham, University of Nottingham
Hannah Victoria Cooper, Research Fellow in Environmental Science, University of Nottingham
Sofie Sjogersten, Associate Professor in Environmental Science, University of Nottingham
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Perhaps because there are no chimney stacks belching smoke, the contribution of the world’s farms to climate change seems somehow remote. But agriculture accounts for a staggering 26% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Tractors running on diesel release carbon dioxide (CO₂) from their exhausts. Fertilisers spread on fields produce nitrous oxide. And cattle generate methane from microbes in their guts.

Even tilling the soil – breaking it up with ploughs and other machinery – exposes carbon buried…

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