Soil poised to make global warming much worse: researchers find
Soil, which is a massive repository of carbon because of plants that have grown and died in it, is poised to make the problem of global warming much worse, a new study cautioned.
Over the vast time periods, plants pull in carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air through a process called photosynthesis and use it for their growth. As warming is on the increase, the microorganisms living in the soil could naturally increase their rate of respiration, releasing CO2 or methane.
As CO2 and methane are greenhouse gases, their release into Earth's atmosphere will boost global warming. The feedback came form a fresh analysis of various previous studies.
The researchers reported, "Our analysis provides empirical support for the long-held concern that rising temperatures stimulate the loss of soil C to the atmosphere, driving a positive land C-climate feedback that could accelerate planetary warming over the twenty-first century."
Researcher Thomas Crowther, of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, said the global perspective suggested that there is a feedback and it is actually going to be massive.
The alarming findings of the new study were published Wednesday in the influential journal Nature.