Most carbon budgets require greening of the terrestrial biosphere as a sink for some of the excess carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuel burning and deforestation. Much of this storage is thought to occur in soils, but running counter to this conclusion is the observation that cultivation has reduced the agricultural reservoir of soil humus. Radiocarbon measurements in agricultural soils lend support to this browning of agricultural lands. Moreover, the loss is from the fast cycling portion of the humus.
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