FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A professor at UC Merced wants all of us to stop treating the soil that covers the earth's surface like dirt.
"There is more carbon in soil than there is in all the world's vegetation, including the lush tropical rainforests, the giant sequoias, the expansive grasslands, all the cultivated systems - and every flora you can imagine on the face of the earth," says Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, a biogeochemist and professor at UC Merced.
Berhe was a presenter at this year's annual TED conference.
Her research group and the students and postdoctoral scholars she mentors work to understand how soil helps regulate the earth's climate.
She told her audience "soil" has tremendous carbon-trapping power, and should be treated as a precious resource.
She says a very small change in the amount of carbon stored in soil can make a very big difference in the maintenance of the earth's atmosphere.
Click here to watch Berhe's TED Talk "What's Soil Got to do with Climate Change?".