In May, Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii reported the highest level of atmospheric carbon dioxide ever recorded in human history: 415 parts per million (ppm). Prior to the Industrial Revolution, that recording was 280 ppm. When the difference (135 ppm) is multiplied by the mass of the atmosphere, you arrive at a total of 1 trillion tons – or, a teraton – of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today that was not there 200 years ago.
As we have come to realize the impact of climate change, a new willingness and tenacity has also developed to address its root causes. At Indigo, we believe agriculture presents one of the most immediate, scalable, and affordable solutions to address climate change: agricultural soils.
There are approximately 3.6 billion acres of farmland worldwide. All of these acres, before they were cultivated, had soil carbon levels between 3% and 7%. Today, these soil carbon levels are at roughly 1%. If every acre of farmland were returned to a soil carbon level of just 3%, one trillion tons of carbon dioxide would be removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil, making the size of the potential solution agriculture presents equivalent to the size of the problem we face. […]