Soil Could Become a Significant Source of Carbon Dioxide

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flickr user: Andrew Stawarz

Author:  University of Exeter 

Experts have forecast that a quarter of the carbon found in soil in France could be lost to the atmosphere during the next 100 years. This could lead to soil becoming a net source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. At present soil is considered to absorb carbon dioxide and this partially counters the impact of human-made climate change.

The pace and nature of predicted changes in climate over the next century will make the soil less able to store carbon, while business-as-usual land use change has limited capacity to counteract this trend, experts from the University of Exeter, INRA and CERFACS in France and University of Leuven in Belgium say in the journal Scientific Reports.

If, as predicted, soils lose a significant amount of their carbon this will endanger their ability to produce food and store water and this could lead to increased soil erosion and flood damage.

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