Unfortunately, a large amount of carbon in the atmosphere affects the soil in such a way that it contributes positively to global warming. Soil respiration is a natural process where carbon is extracted from the soil and acquired by the atmosphere as carbon dioxide; because soil naturally produces these greenhouse emissions, artificially large amounts of carbon in the atmosphere correlate with a carbon-saturated soil, meaning the soil works overtime to turn this carbon into carbon dioxide and release it into the atmosphere. This overworking of the soil lessens the soil’s ability to nourish its vegetation and sustained ecosystems.
In a study conducted by Michelle Wander at the University of Illinois SoyFACE facility, excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been linked to a decrease in soil organic matter. Organic Matter, or humus, is composed of decomposed organic material such as dead plants or plant waste and animal manure. It’s chemical composition includes Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Nitrogen, thus one would think that an increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would cause an increase in plant growth and organic matter.
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