Billions of tons of carbon will break free: if the Earth gets 2 degrees warmer

Warming by 2 degrees will release billions of tons of carbon

The scientists warn of the catastrophic consequences of global warming. If the air temperature on the Earth rises by 2 degrees, it will lead to the release of billions of tons of carbon hidden in the soil. The scientists estimate that in total, about 230 billion tons of carbon from the Earth will be released from the soil. As you know, the soil contains almost three times more carbon than the atmosphere.

As the temperature rises, it accelerates the decomposition processes that decreases the time it takes to produce carbon in the soil. A study conducted by the experts at the University of Exeter concluded that the sensitivity of the carbon cycle leads to global warming.


But the data that the scientists have today reduces the uncertainty about future forecasts of climate change by several times. A warming of 2 degrees that is considered to be above pre-industrial levels, will release about 230 billion tons of carbon. It is almost 4 times the total emissions in China over the past hundred years.

Dr. Sarah Chadburn says that this study rules out the most extreme predictions. But it implies significant changes in soil carbon due to the climate change, with a slight increase in global temperature.

Carbon losses will affect, first of all, its reserves in permafrost. This effect is called positive feedback. It occurs in a process where climate change causes side effects that act on the climate, causing it to change.


How soil carbon is responding to climate change is a mystery to the scientists. To solve it, they used a combination of observational data and models of the Earth system that created a picture of climate change and the carbon cycle with changes in temperature, to determine its sensitivity to global warming.

Current models assume an uncertainty of about 120 billion tonnes of carbon, with an average global warming of 2 degrees.