Recent study on Black Carbon disagrees with Global Warming predictions

A new Cornell studied that was published online in Nature Geosciences claims that the computer generated climatic predictions have been overestimated.

Experiments were conducted by studying the amount of black carbon in Australian soils and it was found that the quantity of black carbon was far more than expected.

Soils are supposed to release more carbon dioxide due to global warming which increases the temperature of the atmosphere. The increase in CO2 levels warms the planet but these results vary a lot when the realistic estimates of black carbon in soils are
included in these climatic predictions.

Many forms of carbon are found in soils which include organic carbon from vegetation and the black carbon that is produced from burning down the organic matter.

Organic carbon takes a few years to decompose as the microbes in the soils eat it, thus converting it into carbon dioxide. However, it takes around 1000 to 2000 years for black carbon to convert in to carbon dioxide.

When the realistic estimates of quantity of black carbon in soils from two Australian savannas were included in the computer model that calculates CO2 release from soil, it was found that the CO2 emissions from soil reduced by 20 % every 100 years.

These new finds totally vary from the simulations which do not take black carbon’s long shell life into consideration.

Soils produce 10 times more carbon dioxide each year than it produced by human activities which makes these findings significant in terms of climatic prediction simulations.

Johannes Lehman, who is the lead author of this research journal, says, "We know from measurements that climate change today is worse than people have predicted, "but this particular aspect, black carbon’s stability in soil, if incorporated in climate models,
would actually decrease climate predictions."

Looking into soil as one blob of carbon is a mistake and as soil has different chemical components with different characteristics which means that soil will interact differently to warming.