Agriculture – a cause of global cooling

Agriculture – a cause of global cooling

Thanks to a collaboration between researchers at the University of East Anglia, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Cranfield University, we now know that agricultural land provides a source of the gas dimethylsulfide (DMS) which is produced when a molecule called dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is degraded by microbes in the soil. DMS is an important climate regulator because it plays a key part in the production and growth of atmospheric sulfate aerosols that influence the radiative properties of clouds. In other words, it increases the rate at which clouds reflect solar radiation which has a cooling effect on the earth’s atmosphere. The natural climate cooling effect of DMS is estimated to be of a similar magnitude to the warming that has been driven by human CO2 emissions.

According to the researchers, it is well known that marine algae, corals and bacteria are DMSP producers and that DMS is an important marine trace gas but, until now, few agricultural species have been tested for the ability to produce it. The new research has demonstrated that DMSP is present in the soil around crop roots, and that the levels of microbial DMS production is similar to those in seawater.

Who, other than a farmer, would have thought that a field of barley in Norfolk would not only be feeding the world but also helping to mitigate the climate crisis?

Share this post



Other related News

More funding and measures to support farmers

On 20 February 2024, the Prime Minister and the Environment Secretary announced the following measures to support the farming...

Continue Reading...


Planning permission secured for five dwellings in the countryside

Acorn Rural Property Consultants has secured full planning permission for five superb, detached dwellings in the countryside in Somerset...

Continue Reading...


Biodiversity net gain comes into force

“On 12 February 2024, the delivery of a minimum of 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) became a statutory requirement...

Continue Reading...