A recent study published in Nature has revealed that global warming will cause a massive loss of carbon directly from the soil, and this will accelerate climate change beyond our previous expectations. The study predicts that a total of more than 55 trillion Kg of carbon will be emitted from the soil by 2050, a value that is equal to about 17% of the direct anthropogenic emissions over that time.

This value is approximately equivalent to having another USA on the planet, emitting all of its CO2 all over again. And the worrying thing is that, as the climate gets warmer and warmer, these losses of soil carbon will increase. Protecting soil carbon stocks against rising atmospheric temperatures will be even more necessary than previously expected in the fight against climate change.

Tom Crowther is the lead author of the study. He has been working on global ecological processes for the last few years at Yale University and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. A year ago his study on t

Climate Facts

Soil Carbon

This Fact Page displays text and images related to global warming and climate change
(Hover your mouse over the text below to "popup" a window with a related text.
Click on the text or image to open a new window with a detailed description.)