Scientists battling to slow climate change and cope with its effects are harnessing an overlooked, yet potentially powerful partner -- one that happens to be right beneath our feet.
Soil, they say, is critical to reducing the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, where it traps heat and warms the planet. Keeping soil healthy also can go a long way in maximizing crop productivity and minimizing severe droughts, floods and storms that scientists say will only become more common as man-made emissions continue pushing the climate along its dangerous path.
"Climate change can be overwhelming. Yet there is real hope," says Michael Pollan, a journalist and food advocate, in a new video on soil and climate shown in Paris during the 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP21, earlier this month.