We Have Released a Monster: Previously Frozen Soil Is "Breathing Out" Greenhouse Gases
A study published in the journal Nature has revealed an alarming new climate feedback loop: As Earth's atmosphere continues to warm from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), soils are respirating carbon -- that is, carbon is being literally baked out of the soils.
Microorganisms in soil generally consume carbon, then release CO2 as a byproduct. Large areas of the planet -- such as Alaska, northern Canada, Northern Europe and large swaths of Siberia in Russia -- have previously been too cold for this process to occur. However, they are now warming up, and soil respiration is happening there. As a result, these places are contributing far, far more CO2 and methane to the atmosphere than they ever have.
This phenomenon is already evidenced by a recently released study led by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which Truthout reported on recently.
This means that even if all human fossil fuel emissions were halted immediately, soils would continue to release approximately the same amount of CO2 and methane emissions as the amount produced by the fossil fuel industry during the mid-20th century.
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