Simulating carbon capture by enhanced weathering with croplands: an overview of key processes highlighting areas of future model development

Enhanced weathering (EW) aims to amplify a natural sink for CO2by incorporating powdered silicate rock with high reactive surface area into agricultural soils. The goal is to achieve rapid dissolution of minerals and release of alkalinity with accompanying dissolution of CO2into soils and drainage waters. EW could counteract phosphorus limitation and greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions in tropical soils, and soil acidification, a common agricultural problem studied with numerical process models over several decades. Here, we review the processes leading to soil acidification in croplands and how the soil weathering CO2sink is represented in models. Mathematical models capturing the dominant processes and human interventions governing cropland soil chemistry and GHG emissions neglect weathering, while most weathering models neglect agricultural processes. We discuss current approaches to modelling EW and highlight several classes of model having the potential to simulate EW in croplands. Finally, we argue for further integration of process knowledge in mathematical models to capture feedbacks affecting both longer-term CO2consumption and crop growth and yields.

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