Oops, missed a bit

The Independent reports another study that finds global warming is happening faster than thought because researchers hadn’t taken into account the carbon in soil.

The report, by an exhaustive list of researchers and published in the Nature journal, assembled data from 49 field experiments over the last 20 years in North America, Europe and Asia.

It found that the majority of the Earth’s terrestrial store of carbon was in soil, and that as the atmosphere warms up, increasing amounts are emitted in what is a vicious cycle of “positive feedbacks”.

The study found that 55bn tonnes in carbon, not previously accounted for by scientists, will be emitted into the atmosphere by 2050.

“As the climate warms, those organisms become more active and the more active they become, the more the soil respires – exactly the same as human beings,” said Dr Crowther, who headed up the study at Yale Climate & Energy Institute, but is now a Marie Curie fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

He says it’s definitely already happening, and will make a difference…not in a good way.

Dr Crowther, a 30-year-old Cardiff University Phd graduate originally from North Wales, predicts climate change will lead to widespread migrations and antagonism among communities.

It will you know. Coastal flooding; rivers drying up; crop failures; more and worse hurricanes and typhoons – all of it will mean mass migration, and that will mean unimaginable levels of violence – what the Indy delicately calls “antagonism among communities.”

“This study is very important, because the response of soil carbon stocks to the ongoing warming, is one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our climate models,” said Prof Janssens, of the University of Antwerp.

“I’m an optimist and still believe that it is not too late, but we urgently need to develop a global economy driven by sustainable energy sources and start using CO2, as a substrate, instead of a waste product.

“If this happens by 2050, then we can avoid warming above 2C. If not, we will reach a point of no return and will probably exceed 5C.”

Good luck, people of the future.

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