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Possible Future Trends of CO2 Concentration and Global Temperature

Possible Future Trends of CO2 Concentration and Global Temperature

Wildfire smoke and power line, northern California. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

Carbon dioxide gas (CO2) has been accumulating in the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution (~1750), because increasingly voluminous fluxes of that gas have been exhausted from the lands and the oceans, and are beyond the capacity of natural CO2 sinks to absorb completely.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, carbon would cycle through a variety of processes that sustained the continuation of life, death, evolution and rebirth, and that all meshed into one grand balance. That balance is called the Carbon Cycle.

The explosive growth of human activity, numbers, exosomatic power, economic wealth, military overkill, and hubristic political pretensions, all spring from the access to and profligate use of heat-energy liberated from fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is the exhaust fume from our Promethean exertions for greater conquests — and wealth.

The carbon dioxide exhausted by our civilization’s generation of heat-energy, and from our massive exploitation of once virgin land areas, is an increasingly destabilizing perturbation of the Carbon Cycle. This perturbation is called Anthropogenic Emissions.

The imbalance of the Carbon Cycle reverberates through the natural world in many ways that are increasingly harmful and dangerous to Planet Earth’s habitability for ourselves and for many other animal and plant species. The central reality of this complex of growing threats to the viability of the Biosphere is called Global Warming.

Carbon dioxide gas traps heat radiated towards space, as infrared radiation from the surface of Planet Earth, reducing our planet’s ability to regulate its temperature by cooling to compensate for the influx of solar light that is absorbed by the lands and the oceans, and stored by them as heat.

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How Soil and Carbon are Related

IMG_8028Ingrid Pullen Photography

How Soil and Carbon are Related

Carbon cycle is one of the fundamental requirement of life on earth. Soil organic carbon (SOC) can be described as the amount of carbon that is stored in the soil as one of the components of the soil organic matter which comprises the animal and plant materials and different stages of decay. Organic carbon (OC) mainly enters the soil by the decomposition of the animal and plant residuals, dead and living microorganisms, root exudates and soil biota. Soil organic carbon is heterogeneous structure that varies in it particle size, carbon content, turnover time and its decomposition rate. Soil organic carbon is the main energy source for the soil microorganisms. The soil organic matter in the soil has approximately 58% carbon.


The processes that can be used to increase the amount of soil carbon in the soil include; things like increasing plant growth which generally increases the input of organic carbon to the soil in roots, shoot material and root exudates example is the increasing water use efficiency and optimal nutrition. Also growing plants for longer durations each year increases the inputs of the organic carbon to the soil. Also by improving the soil structure it can also help to increase the organic carbon stored in the soil by reducing the losses of organic carbon from the soil by erosion and decomposition and this can be done by maintaining the ground cover, retaining stubbles and reduction of compaction. In addition practices like conservation farming, improving crop management through rotation, maintaining and improving forestry management and also improving grazing management can help to increase the organic carbon in the soil.


Carbon content in the soil is a major factor of the overall soil health. Soil carbon is meant to improve the physical properties of soil like increasing the cation exchange capacity (CEC).

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