Saturday, November 05, 2016

Soil Could Become a Significant Source of Carbon Dioxide

If people continue using and changing the land over the next century in the same way they currently do, soils will have limited potential to counter the effect of climate change and will become a net source of atmospheric carbon dioxide, experts have warned.

Temporal evolution of total SOC stock for entire France (Mton C) as a consequence of the combined effect of land use change and climate change considering 8 different downscaled climate models/scenarios. (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
Experts have forecast that a quarter of the carbon found in soil in France could be lost to the atmosphere during the next 100 years.  This could lead to soil becoming a net source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.  At present soil is considered to absorb carbon dioxide and this partially counters the impact of human-made climate change.

The pace and nature of predicted changes in climate over the next century will make the soil less able to store carbon, while business-as-usual land use change has limited capacity to counteract this trend, experts from the University of Exeter, INRA and CERFACS in France and University of Leuven in Belgium say in the journal Scientific Reports.

If, as predicted, soils lose a significant amount of their carbon this will endanger their ability to produce food and store water and this could lead to increased soil erosion and flood damage.

Read more at Soil Could Become a Significant Source of Carbon Dioxide

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