Can crops permanently sequester CO2 into the ground?
This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.
In 2016, a team of notorious plant biologists put their knowledge and expertise towards discovering if plants could be used to store more CO2 than usual and keep it underground for longer. Every year plants remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than is needed, but ultimately release it again. The team therefore focussed on just three traits – root mass, root depth and root carbon content – which would keep the carbon in the ground. They also only focussed on six types of crop used in food production, so as to make use of existing high yields and not disrupt supply. Three years on, the group have made a number of breakthroughs and are now approaching governments for funding and support, aiming to have carbon-sequestering crops on a global scale in ten years.