Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

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Microbes, Atmosphere in Climate Models

Sources: LBNL News Center, and Dan Hawkes

Jinyun_rileyESD climate scientists Jinyun Tang and Bill Riley have developed a climate model that quantifies interactions between soil microbes and their surroundings. It’s the first such model to include several physiologically realistic representations of how soil microbes break down organic matter, a process that annually unleashes about ten times as much carbon into the atmosphere as fossil fuel emissions.


The complex and dynamic livelihood of soil microbes is captured in this schematic. For the first time, these processes are represented in a computer model that predicts the fate of soil carbon as temperatures rise. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

To read more, go to: 


Tang, J.Y., and W.J. Riley (2014), Weaker soil carbon-climate feedbacks resulting from microbial and abiotic interactions. Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2438.

Funding Source: BER, ACME