The potential for soil carbon sequestration in northern Australia: what’s known.

Over recent years, there has been a huge growth in interest in the potential for soil carbon sequestration in agricultural lands, and the opportunities this may offer land managers for earning carbon credits. However, in contrast to wide agreement on the value of soil organic matter for soil health and productivity, there are very divergent views on the potential for sequestration – increasing the amount of carbon stored permanently (for at least 100 years) for climate change mitigation.

These divergent views are creating uncertainty for policy, and for land management.

While interest is now high, relatively few studies have been conducted, especially long-term trials, to understand the impacts of climate, soil, and management factors on carbon cycling in the extensive and spatially variable landscapes of northern Australia. A review of research and on-ground trials with soil carbon data relevant to northern grazing lands was undertaken to evaluate the evidence for soil carbon sequestration through adoption of new management strategies including:

• grazing management strategies
• pasture management strategies
• land conservation strategies
• fire management strategies.

In this webinar recording, join Adjunct Associate Professor Beverley Henry (Queensland University of Technology) as she looks at what the review and analysis found on soil carbon sequestration opportunities for producers and where gaps in knowledge remain a barrier to participation in carbon credit schemes such as the Emissions Reduction Fund.

You can watch the full recording or use the playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation (44:57; published 4 May 2023 by FutureBeefAu).

Download a copy of the presentation: Soil carbon sequestration in northern Australia (PDF; 1.30 MB)

Additional resources

Full recording


  1. The potential for soil carbon sequestration in northern Australia: what’s known.
  2. Potential for soil carbon sequestration: Review overview
  3. What is soil carbon sequestration?
  4. Global potential for soil organic carbon sequestration
  5. Detecting changes in soil carbon due to management
  6. Soil carbon sequestration: Measurement requirements
  7. Grazing management strategies
  8. Pasture management strategies
  9. Land conservation strategies
  10. Fire management strategies
  11. Does better land condition indicate higher soil carbon stocks?
  12. How do the review results compare with other data?
  13. The potential for sequestration: Baseline soil carbon stocks
  14. The potential for sequestration: Major drivers
  15. The potential for sequestration: Opportunities
  16. The potential for sequestration: Impediments and risks
  17. The potential for sequestration: Risks and uncertainties
  18. Soil carbon sequestration: Emission Reduction Fund projects
  19. Emission Reduction Fund soil carbon projects in the north
  20. Review recommendations