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Soil microbes produce less atmospheric CO2 than expected with climate warming
Date:4/26/2010

k to pre-warming levels, a pattern seen in field experiments. But if microbes manage to adapt to the warmth for instance, through increased enzyme activity emissions could intensify.

"When we developed a model based on the actual biology of soil microbes, we found that soil carbon may not be lost to the atmosphere as the climate warms," said Matthew Wallenstein of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. "Conventional ecosystem models that didn't include enzymes did not make the same predictions."

Mark Bradford, assistant professor of terrestrial ecosystem ecology at Yale, said there is intense debate in the scientific community over whether the loss of soil carbon will contribute to global warming. "The challenge we have in predicting this is that the microbial processes causing this loss are poorly understood," he said. "More research in this area will help reduce uncertainties in climate prediction."


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Contact: Cathy Lawhon
clawhon@uci.edu
949-824-1151
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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