A new model developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory helps scientists understand the role that soil will play in future climate change, a press release said.
Predicting climate change depends heavily on the cycling of carbon dioxide, which is found in four main reservoirs: the atmosphere, biosphere, oceans, and soil, the release said.
ORNL’s model was designed to replace traditional soil carbon cycling models. The press release said it better accounts for the carbon dioxide-releasing activity of microbes in the ground.
“Soil is a big reservoir of carbon,” said co-author Melanie Mayes of ORNL’s Environmental Sciences Division. “And most of the soil carbon cycling models in use today are so vastly simplified that they ignore the fact that decomposition is actually performed by microbes.”