Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Research Suggests That Climate Warming May Be Occurring Even Faster Than Previously Recognized

Date:
January 25, 2005
Source:
University Of Bristol
Summary:
A long standing puzzle that has haunted climate researchers looking at the fate of carbon stored in the world's soils, has now been resolved. The research suggests that climate warming may be occurring even faster than previously recognised.

A long standing puzzle that has haunted climate researchers looking at the fate of carbon stored in the world's soils, has now been resolved. The research suggests that climate warming may be occurring even faster than previously recognised.

Related Articles


The international team of researchers, led by Bristol University and reporting in Nature [20 January 2005], show that an apparent biological adaptation of micro-organisms that break down carbon in soils, thereby releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, can in fact be explained by the widely contrasting properties of those organic carbons.

Recent reports of laboratory experiments have stated that the micro-organisms responsible for soil carbon decomposition gradually acclimatise to an increase in heat and adjust the rate at which carbon is released into the atmosphere, such that it is effectively released at a steady rate. However, this does not agree with long-established rules of physical chemistry that predict that as the climate warms these reactions should speed up, resulting in an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide released.

The team of researchers at Bristol University and the Natural Environment Research Council's QUEST programme, the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany, and the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, has now managed to solve the puzzle, bringing the apparent contradictions from laboratory experiments in line with theoretical predictions.

They show that what looked liked a biological adaptation of the micro-organisms can in fact be explained by widely contrasting properties of organic carbon present in soils.

These properties range from highly digestible (labile) sugar-like compounds to almost stable, charcoal-like compounds which the micro-organisms have difficulty breaking down. Such an extreme mixture has so far prevented theoretical interpretation of the laboratory experiments.

The next step will be to apply the new theory in complex climate simulations, using so-called Earth System Models. So far, these models only use properties from the labile soil carbon because they are easier to measure. But an estimated 90% of the carbon locked up in the world's soil is made up of the more stable components, which must now be built into the model.

The new results predict that since the micro-organisms are not keeping the release of carbon dioxide from the soil at a steady state, as previously thought, an increase in climate temperatures will result in an increase in the rate at which the stable components decompose. This will lead to even more carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and more rapid climate change.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Bristol. "New Research Suggests That Climate Warming May Be Occurring Even Faster Than Previously Recognized." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050124005755.htm>.
University Of Bristol. (2005, January 25). New Research Suggests That Climate Warming May Be Occurring Even Faster Than Previously Recognized. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050124005755.htm
University Of Bristol. "New Research Suggests That Climate Warming May Be Occurring Even Faster Than Previously Recognized." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050124005755.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins