Summary: This white paper reviews the literature on soil organic carbon losses and potential gains through regenerative management. It finds that most literature is limited to areas considered in “agriculture” and that rangelands may be largely under represented both in terms of of losses and drawdown potential. It argues that with regenerative rangeland practices, such as Holistic Planned Grazing, the total capture of atmospheric carbon may be much higher than previously considered. An upward estimate of 88 to 210 gigatons (billions of tons) of carbon (88-210 GtC) representing a total drawdown of 25 to 60 tons per hectare on 3500 million hectares of grasslands worldwide is postulated as achievable through proper rangeland/grassland management. This represents a CO2 reduction equivalency of 41 to 99 ppm, enough to return us to the 350 ppm level mandated by the Paris Climate Accords.
Itzkan, Seth. 2014. Upside Drawdown – The Potential of Restorative Grazing to Mitigate Global Warming by Increasing Carbon Capture on Grasslands. Draft for comment v0.9.5. Somerville, Massachusetts: Planet-TECH Associates.