One possible way that subsurface microbes can combat climate change is by capturing carbon and converting it to limestone.

These microbes use chemicals from rock as an energy system to feed themselves far underground, in the absence of sunlight.  In doing so, they can produce organic matter that fuels the growth of other organisms, they can convert CO2 to fuels and other chemicals, and they can enhance the efficiency of solar panels (“photon-to-fuel efficiency”). 

At the Washington State Soil Health Committee, we wonder what relationship these microbes have to topsoil?

What do you think? What do you know?

Fixing Climate Change – Boosting Nature’s Cooling System – Fixing The System

This exciting article from Fixing the System discusses soil as the engine of our planet’s cooling and carbon capture system.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Rich soils exponentially increase the capture of water and carbon
What is powerful about healthy soil, and it really is the central element of the whole sponge discussion, is that now we have 66% of the volume of the matrix which is available for infiltrating and retaining water. That retained water is what can sustain plant growth. Because of these voids, and the increased surface area exposed by them, this healthy soil can vastly increase the availability of nutrients. Now we have the phosphorus, the calcium, and the zinc all exposed for microbial activity.

So the bio-productivity of that soil increases exponentially, simply by creating those voids. The rootability of these soils vastly increases, that is the roots can grow, and penetrate and proliferate. Instead of 6 inches, they can grow down to 6 feet, or 20 feet, so the volume of soil resource that is now available for plant growth, and the drawdown of carbon that we mentioned earlier, is exponentially increased.

Soil formation is the engine of nature’s cooling and carbon capture system
So the whole bio-productivity of these healthy soils, the resilience of those soils, the capacity to infiltrate, to buffer, to extend life vastly increases. This process is what nature did to create the biosystem, to create the hydrology, and in very simple terms, that is all we have to do.

The process is taking sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to produce plants, using photosynthesis to create sugars, and fungi and microorganisms that convert those sugars into stable soil carbon, which is just the carbon based organic detritus or ‘bed springs’. This process is how the Earth ran 95% of its heat dynamics and its natural hydrological cooling.

So, if we have to draw down 20 billion tonnes of carbon, if we have to rebuild this soil-carbon sponge, we simply need to copy nature, and speed up the soil formation process.”

Earn Income for Enriching Your Soil

This program is available to agricultural producers through 2019 who sign up on the website.

In June of 2019, an international project was launched to pay farmers by the acre of cropland to adopt “regenerative growing practices.” It’s called the “The Terraton Initiative.” 

In the few months since it started, ten million acres of cropland have been enrolled by producers willing to use one or more regenerative practices, for example, cover crops, crop rotation, no-till, reduced pesticide, and fertilizer, or integrated livestock management. Producers receive a minimum of $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide sequestered in their soils, as measured by remote sensing and breakthroughs in data science. It is now possible to make accurate, efficient, affordable measurements of soil carbon levels by remote sensing methods.  The producers who have enrolled their cropland in this program will not only build healthier soil, which will increase their yield but will be paid a bonus for doing so. 

For more information on this new program, go to

New Findings in Plant Root and Fungal Interaction Help to Resolve the Complexity of Soil Carbon Cycling

The general background of this research is that a major part of the global carbon pool is stored underground, in our boreal forests, in the form of organic matter. It is only now becoming clear how plant roots contribute to the formation of organic matter, especially to the concentration of nitrogen in it. The latest research on soil nitrogen shows that some plant roots promote high concentrations of organic soil nitrogen, thus contributing to for formation of organic matter, where carbon is stored. 

Read the article from