Global warming has started showing its effects with long spells of summer and short rains and winters which do not feel like winters anymore. A new study into the reasons for global warming has revealed that the heat makes the soil beneath us liberate carbon dioxide which means the more the weather, the more Co2 is released into the atmosphere which further increases the temperature ultimately towards an unending cycle of temperature change.
A section of land owned by Harvard University in Massachusetts forest was excavated by a group of researchers in the year 1991. To see the effect of heat on the soil, electric cables were buried inside the ground to warm them up. The researchers increased the temperature just 5 degrees above the original temperature, and the results were staggering.
Now, 26 years later, the researchers found that the top sixty centimeters of the organic matter had lost a lot of stored-carbon which means that it is silently contributing to the global warming ailing Earth right now. In the paper published in the journal Science, the lead scientists of the investigation concluded that around 17% of carbon liberated from the soil was due to the heating. Scientists from Harvard suggest that any ordinary soil loses an enormous amount of carbon dioxide when exposed to hot temperature. This ultimately worsens climate change and adds up to the already high carbon emission rate produced by humans on a daily basis.
Earth contains more than 3,500 billion tons of carbon which is contained in the organic matter in the soil. According to Jerry Melillo, U.S. Marine Biological Research Laboratory scientist, Bacteria live inside the ground and feed on the matter and release carbon dioxide as a by-product.With an increase in heat, the microbes can digest more, thus releasing more amount of heat.
When we think about the current climate change, the soil wasn’t given any attention. It plays a significant role in climate change which cannot be ignored as this is where we get everything from food to trees that produce oxygen.