An interesting relationship: soil temperature and climate change

The study, performed by scientists from the University of New Hampshire, the University of California-Davis and the Marine Biological Laboratory, examined how microorganisms in the soil respond to temperature changes.  By learning more about that process, scientists could then improve the prediction of how much carbon dioxide is released from the soil.

Microorganisms in the soil release carbon dioxide as a byproduct of how they utilize their food source.  There are two types of food sources: glucose, a simple food source that is release from plant roots, and phenol, a complex food source that comes from decomposing organic matter such as wood and leaves.  Under normal conditions, they release at least 10 times the amount of carbon dioxide that human activities do in a year through the breakdown of these two food sources.  For a perspective on what this amount means, take a look at the graph below, taken from a study

 

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