Tropical Soils, Microbes, and Heat Add Up to 10% More Atmospheric CO2

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 30 September 2019



Tropical Soils, Microbes, and Heat Add Up to 10% More CO2

Microbes in Warm Soils Released More Carbon Than Those in Cooler Soils,
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, September 30, 2019.


"The fate of soil carbon in response to global heating remains one of the greatest sources of un-certainty in our predictions of future climate."

"Tropical soils have a particularly large influence on the global carbon cycle and are home to unique biodiversity, but their response to warming remains poorly understood."

Not Well Modeled
".while tropical forests may have the potential to release vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere as they warm, the effects of warming on tropical soils and the microbes that break down organic matter are poorly characterized."

The Experiment
"At four sites in the Peruvian Andes, Nottingham and colleagues removed soil cores from the ground. A set of cores stayed at the same site, while other cores were moved to sites either higher up the mountain (thus, cooler) or lower on the mountain (warmer), a 3,000-meter range equivalent to plus or minus 4 to 15 degrees Celsius."

Generated New Soil Warming CO2 Figures: +10%
"...a 4 to 8 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures during the next century, tropical soils could cause roughly a 9% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide this century," Nottingham said."

A Powerful Feedback Loop
"Our study clearly shows that global warming is likely to create a powerful positive feedback loop, as the microbes and enzymes they synthesize that thrive under warmer conditions release even more carbon from the soil into the atmosphere."

"This study indicates that tropical soils are likely to be a considerable source of carbon to the at-mosphere, promoting further increases in temperature."



Related Research

Soil CO2 Feeback

Aug 2018
Warm Soil, Heatwaves & Microbes: Two Pieces of Climate Change-Soil Disaster Research


Nov 2016
Loss of soil carbon due to climate change will be 'huge.'



Unexpected CO2 Feedback Loops

September 2019
New Feedback Phenomenon Found to Drive Increasing Drought and Aridity


Sept 2019
2019: PETM Storm Feedback Loop Deepens & Extends High CO2 Concentrations


Sept 2019
Study of Ancient PETM Climate Suggests Increasing CO2 Sensivity could Accelerate Warming


Sept 2019
Fire Feedback
Massive Northern Forests at Risk


April 2019

Massive Unexpected Emissions from Melting Permafrost


April 2019
Ocean Microbes
Bacteria & Plankton: Another Heat Sensitive Carbon Feedback System


Feb 2019
Ocean-Air Feedback
Melting Ice, Glaciers, & Ice Caps: Estimating Dates for Reaping the Whirlwind(s)


Feb 2019
Undersea Gases Could Superheat the Planet



Areas of Interest

Past Climates

What We've Done
Heating over the Short, Medium, Long, and Very Long Terms
(Get Ready to Get Smacked by, "The Hockey Stick"...)
Heating up Our Planet over the Short, Medium, and Long Terms
These changes are disrupting everything

Temperatures Through Time

The Distant Past: Mirror of Present & Future
Archaeological Climatology
The PETM, Chicxulub, Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE), Volcanic Events, and even the Chance of a Black Hole/Supernova disaster...






News of Man & Nature, September 2019








Nature News


Climate Destruction News



Bee News

Bear News

Spider Forum

Bird News

Small Mammals

Frogs and Reptiles

Butterfly News


Health and Fitness

Mountain Safety

Mosquito News

Female Trail

High Sierra History


Astro-Phys, Space, & Science News

High Sierra Geology News

Fish, Oceans, & Water News






climate change, news, expected, global warming, heating, soils, expected, 10%, CO2, increase


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