Earth’s carbon sink downsized

A study published in March modelled nutrient cycling across the globe to predict how much carbon plants could sequester over the next 100 years when nutrient limitations are taken into account2. Those simulations, which included nitrogen limitations in northern hemisphere soils and phosphorus limitations in the tropics, predicted that land plants will absorb 23% less carbon than is projected by other models.

... it turns out that in reality, ecosystems are complex and only have limited flexibility.”[emphasis mine]

Tags: CO2 uptake, carbon cycle, forests, plants

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Replies to This Discussion

Excellent article, and it further states, 

"ecologists Peter Reich and Sarah Hobbie at the University of Minnesota in St Paul, suggests that estimates of how much CO2 land plants can use are far too optimistic. Plants also need soil nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, to grow. But few studies have tested whether soils contain enough of these nutrients to fuel growth in proportion to rising CO2."

We need to pay attention to these kinds of findings. I'm reposting, thanks. 

We have been producing way more CO2 than the entirety of the plant world can absorb for a very long time now.  The world's oceans have been taking up some of the extra that the plant world could not, but the oceans are also overwhelmed and becoming acidified. The CO2 absorption cycle of trees and oceans is only capable of handling a NON carbon fossil fuel humanity. Speaking of infamous "tipping points", the CO2 cycle has been past tipping point (absorption capacity) for over a hundred years. So people who even dare make the claim that plants can absorb our shit... are full of shit :)

At this point in planet Earth's history, any single penny spent researching plant CO2 absorption is wasted, we are so past that point.

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