Skip to content

REPORT: Soil contains much more CO2 than anticipated

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/27/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Human activity could contribute more to global climate change than previously estimated.

A study from the University of Wisconsin warns that carbon deposits in the soil may be much more significant than previously estimated, thus suggesting that human activity could release more carbon than anticipated into the atmosphere.

The soil beneath our feet may contain more carbon than previously estimated, increasing the impact of human activity on climate change,

The soil beneath our feet may contain more carbon than previously estimated, increasing the impact of human activity on climate change,

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/27/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: global climate change, soil, weather, CO2, heating


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ancient soils in the American Midwest have been found to be richer in carbon than previously thought. Although these soils are deeper than most soils that are tested, human activity could disturb the soil, releasing additional carbon into the atmosphere.

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin, Madison say that mining, agriculture, and deforestation could lead to a significant increase in soil-trapped carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change.

Pray for the wisdom to find a Catholic way forward through all crises.

The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience and it holds that deep soils also contain vast reservoirs of carbon, which could be released if disturbed.

What could be most astounding however is not the presence of such carbon deposits, but rather the surprise that it's there. Nobody should be surprised.

Biomass forms on the surface, then dies and is covered by dust and other layers of biomass. Eventually this material ends up below the surface of the Earth. Given enough time and pressure, such biomass turns into coal, oil, and natural gas. This process is continual and has been happening since the creation of life on the planet.

In short, oil and other fossil fuel products are constantly being created and renewed by nature, just far more slowly than we presently extract them.

The problem occurs when we burn these fuels, releasing the carbon stored in this biomass from prehistoric times. Trees and other vegetation work wonderfully to store carbon in the atmosphere. Trees and plants use carbon dioxide as food, and give off oxygen in exchange.

As long as this intake process is balanced over time, carbon levels in the atmosphere remain net-neutral and have little impact on global climate change. However, when we release vast amounts of carbon in the atmosphere, while returning only a fraction back to the Earth, we increase the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere which has a warming effect.

Scientists now worry that humans do not need to burn fossil fuels to increase CO2 levels, they simply need to disturb the soil. However, humans have been disturbing the soil and burning biomass since the beginning of recorded history. Such activities in moderate amounts should be of no concern. However, modern industrial-scale projects which tear up many acres of soil at a time may have a much more significant CO2 impact than previously considered.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MARCH 2017
Support for Persecuted Christians.
That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.


Comments


More Green

Scientists discover a way to turn CO2 into methanol, could THIS be the key to reversing global warming? Watch

Image of There may be a way to convert factory emissions to methanol, which is a valuable industrial product.

Carbon dioxide has a bad reputation. It is criticized as the gas responsible for global warming. And while the global warming issue is more ... continue reading


The polar caps are melting, but there's a greater danger we need to talk about Watch

Image of Will the cure worse than the disease? The polar caps melt, then grow back. But there's a greater danger than this lurking among us --our response to the problem.

Sea ice has reached its lowest levels in recent, recorded history according to NASA. Arctic sea ice reached a maximum that is well below ... continue reading


Scientific discovery could rewrite evolutionary textbooks - should we trust science? Watch

Image of Red algae is still common, and can sometimes stain water the color of blood.

Scientists think they will have to rewrite the evolutionary history of the planet after discovering evidence of the first plants. Their ... continue reading


Study: Natural factors ignored in climate models Watch

Image of A new study suggests scientists are underestimating the contribution of nature to their climate change models.

For decades, scientists have debated what is more responsible for global warming, human activity or nature? The answer to this question is ... continue reading


When will the big one hit? Major quake to strike California sooner rather than later Watch

Image of The city of Bakersfield is the closest major population center to the section of the San Andreas fault where the 'Big One' is expected.

There's bad news for Californians following a seismic study that revealed a section of the San Andreas fault is due for a major movement. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.