Poster's note : appears to imply that rather more care needs to be taken
with soil, and that soil CDR will be significantly more challenging than is
Radiocarbon constraints imply reduced carbon uptake by soils during the
Yujie He1,*, Susan E. Trumbore2, Margaret S. Torn3,Jennifer W.
Harden4,5, Lydia J. S. Vaughn3, Steven D. Allison1,6, James T. Randerson1
Science 23 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6306, pp. 1419-1424
Soil is the largest terrestrial carbon reservoir and may influence the sign
and magnitude of carbon cycle–climate feedbacks. Many Earth system models
(ESMs) estimate a significant soil carbon sink by 2100, yet the underlying
carbon dynamics determining this response have not been systematically
tested against observations. We used14C data from 157 globally distributed
soil profiles sampled to 1-meter depth to show that ESMs underestimated the
mean age of soil carbon by a factor of more than six (430 ± 50 years versus
3100 ± 1800 years). Consequently, ESMs overestimated the carbon
sequestration potential of soils by a factor of nearly two (40 ± 27%).
These inconsistencies suggest that ESMs must better represent carbon
stabilization processes and the turnover time of slow and passive
reservoirs when simulating future atmospheric carbon dioxide dynamics
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