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Climate change issue is caused by carbon emissions from warm soils: Study

Well, our Earth has been experiencing lots of ups and down in its atmosphere and environment now-days. And we all know that the root cause of this is Climate Change. Most of the research regarding climate change and its effects are done at atmospheric level with a thorough analysis and use advanced techniques. But according to a recent study, it is discovered that when the soil warms up, it releases more carbon, thus creating a dangerous feedback loop that could lead to more increase in temperature of Earth than estimated.

The analysis was based on a 26 years observational research that took place in a hardwood forest in Massachusetts, where researchers have been artificially heating certain sections of soil to see the effects. Researchers divided a patch of Harvard University-owned forest into 18 identical 6-meter by 6-meter squares. They broke the land up into six blocks of three squares each. In every block, one square was left alone, one was threaded with heating cables that increased its temperature 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) above the surrounding area. After that, third square was threaded with cables but never turned on, as a control.

The main purpose of this experiment was to measure how carbon dioxide might escape from Earth as the atmosphere warms. And now a recent study regarding the results of the research has revealed that the warm dirt has accelerated the catastrophe of global warming. Scientists explained that when the Earth heats up, or its temperature rises, microbes in the soil accelerate the breakdown of organic materials and move on to others that may have once been ignored, each time releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The team from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of New Hampshire informed that the rising temperatures cause a two-stage cycle where carbon output increases for several years then levels off – probably due to soil microbes adjusting to the warmer conditions. But after those readjustments, the carbon released by the soil again rises. The more the soil warms up, the more carbon it releases to the atmosphere which increases the temperature of Earth. And then, the more the atmosphere heats up, it results in more heating of soil and once again more carbon leaks. One of the team member, Jerry Melillo from the MBL said that his self-reinforcing feedback loop is potentially a global phenomenon with soils, and once it starts it might be very difficult to turn off. The study was published in the journal Science

The more the soil warms up, the more carbon it releases to the atmosphere which increases the temperature of Earth. And then, the more the atmosphere heats up, it results in more heating of soil and once again more carbon leaks. One of the team member, Jerry Melillo from the MBL said that his self-reinforcing feedback loop is potentially a global phenomenon with soils, and once it starts it might be very difficult to turn off. The study was published in the journal Science

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