The first comprehensive assessments of potential soil C sequestration on managed lands for the United States were led by researchers from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center of The Ohio State University. These syntheses focused on the potential of US soils to sequester carbon with adoption of best management practices under different land uses. Subsequently, more detailed assessments of the technical potential for carbon sequestration at global (1) and US scales generally support these earlier estimates of a significant soil C sink potential, on the order of hundreds of teragrams (1 Tg, equals 1012 (one trillion) grams or 1 million metric tonnes) per year in the United States (45 to 98 Tg for cropland and 13 to 70 Tg for grazing land) and roughly an order of magnitude higher globally (2).

1) Intergovernment Panel on Climate change, Third Assessment Report, 2001.
2) Chambers, A, et al, Soil carbon sequestration potential of US croplands and grasslands: Implementing the 4 per Thousand Initiative, J Soil and Water Conservation, 71, 68A-74A (2016).