Climatology: Will soil amplify climate change?

  title={Climatology: Will soil amplify climate change?},
  author={David S. Powlson},
  • D. Powlson
  • Published 20 January 2005
  • Environmental Science
  • Nature
It had been thought by some that rising atmospheric temperatures would have no effect on the rate at which carbon is released from the soil. A study that revisits the data behind this theory now finds otherwise. 
Scenarios of Future Climate and Land-Management Effects on Carbon Stocks in Northern Patagonian Shrublands
The possible effects of grazing management and future climate change on carbon (C) stocks in soils of northern Patagonian shrublands are analyzed and the predicted climate changes would result in increased total C in soil organic matter (SOMTC).
Global impacts of land degradation
Study commissioned by the Scientific, Technical and Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support the development of the new GEF focal area of Land Degradation
The Nitrogen Cycle: Implications for Management, Soil Health, and Climate Change
It is estimated that around 170 Tg N year−1 of reactive nitrogen (N) is produced on a global basis by industry, fossil fuel burning, and biological N fixation. It is applied to land both deliberately
Modelling the effect of temperature on carbon mineralization rates across a network of European forest sites (FORCAST)
Temperature is a major environmental variable influencing microbial respiration in soils. Thus, understanding how heterotrophic processes in soils may respond to potential increases in temperature is
The influence of terrestrial ecosystems on climate.
Land use and climate change impacts on soil organic carbon stocks in semi-arid Spain
PurposeThe sensitivity of soil organic carbon to global change drivers, according to the depth profile, is receiving increasing attention because of its importance in the global carbon cycle and its
Translocation of soils to stimulate climate change: CO2 emissions and modifications to soil organic matter
The effect of climate change on CO2 emissions was studied on undisturbed soil monoliths (40‐cm diameter, 25‐cm high), which were translocated to warmer zones than their place of origin. Thirty‐two
Significance of Halimeda bioherms to the global carbonate budget based on a geological sediment budget for the Northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Since the correlation between carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and global temperatures was established in the ice core records, quantifying the components of the global carbon cycle has become a priority


Respiration in the balance
Models of how forests will respond to climate change usually assume that carbon dioxide output from decomposing organic matter will increase with global warming. That assumption may be wrong.Models
Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model
Results from a fully coupled, three-dimensional carbon–climate model are presented, indicating that carbon-cycle feedbacks could significantly accelerate climate change over the twenty-first century.
Global climate change and soil carbon stocks; predictions from two contrasting models for the turnover of organic carbon in soil
Enhanced release of CO2 to the atmosphere from soil organic carbon as a result of increased temperatures may lead to a positive feedback between climate change and the carbon cycle, resulting in much
Model estimates of CO2 emissions from soil in response to global warming
ONE effect of global warming will be to accelerate the decomposition of soil organic matter, thereby releasing CO2 to the atmosphere, which will further enhance the warming trend1–7. Such a feedback
Biogeochemistry: Soil warming and organic carbon content
It is believed that positive feedback to global warming is still a concern and Giardina and Ryan's results are undermined by methodological factors and also by their turnover times being estimated on the assumption that soil carbon exists as a single homogeneous pool, which can mask the dynamics of a smaller, temperature-dependent soil-carbon fraction.
Total carbon and nitrogen in the soils of the world
The soil is important in sequestering atmospheric CO2 and in emitting trace gases (e.g. CO2, CH4 and N2O) that are radiatively active and enhance the ‘greenhouse’ effect. Land use changes and
Acclimatization of soil respiration to warming in a tall grass prairie
Observations in a tall grass prairie ecosystem in the US Great Plains indicate that the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration decreases—or acclimatizes—under warming and that the acclim atization is greater at high temperatures, which may weaken the positive feedback between the terrestrial carbon cycle and climate.
Long-term sensitivity of soil carbon turnover to warming
Evidence is presented that non-labile SOC is more sensitive to temperature than labile SOC, implying that the long-term positive feedback of soil decomposition in a warming world may be even stronger than predicted by global models.
Evidence that decomposition rates of organic carbon in mineral soil do not vary with temperature
The data suggest that Cs decomposition rates for forest soils are not controlled by temperature limitations to microbial activity, and that increased temperature alone will not stimulate the decomposition of forest-derived carbon in mineral soil.