Radiocarbon constraints imply reduced carbon uptake by soils during the 21st century

Yujie HeJames T Randerson


Soil is the largest terrestrial carbon reservoir and may influence the sign and magnitude of carbon cycle-climate feedbacks. Many Earth system models (ESMs) estimate a significant soil carbon sink by 2100, yet the underlying carbon dynamics determining this response have not been systematically tested against observations. We used (14)C data from 157 globally distributed soil profiles sampled to 1-meter depth to show that ESMs underestimated the mean age of soil carbon by a factor of more than six (430 ± 50 years versus 3100 ± 1800 years). Consequently, ESMs overestimated the carbon sequestration potential of soils by a factor of nearly two (40 ± 27%). These inconsistencies suggest that ESMs must better represent carbon stabilization processes and the turnover time of slow and passive reservoirs when simulating future atmospheric carbon dioxide dynamics.


May 10, 2017·Global Change Biology·Kees Jan van GroenigenBruce A Hungate
Nov 16, 2017·Scientific Reports·Robert J ZomerLouis V Verchot
Oct 11, 2017·Global Change Biology·Vanessa L BaileyMatthew D Wallenstein
Jun 17, 2020·Global Change Biology·Donghai WuWenfang Xu
Apr 23, 2019·Global Biogeochemical Cycles·Carlos A SierraSusan E Trumbore
Apr 30, 2019·Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems·Yuanyuan HuangYiqi Luo
Mar 17, 2018·Science Advances·Manuel Delgado-BaquerizoBrajesh K Singh
Sep 7, 2018·Nature Communications·Zhihua LiuPhilippe Ciais
Feb 7, 2020·Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems·Marta Camino-SerranoBertrand Guenet
Jul 12, 2018·Nature·Jérôme BalesdentChristine Hatté
Nov 18, 2018·Science Advances·Emanuele LugatoArwyn Jones
Mar 6, 2019·Scientific Reports·Zhendong WuAnders Ahlström
Sep 29, 2020·Global Change Biology·Zhongkui LuoChanghui Peng


Jan 22, 2005·Nature·W KnorrE A Holland
Oct 8, 2011·Nature·Michael W I SchmidtSusan E Trumbore
Dec 18, 2013·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Andrew D FriendF I Woodward
Mar 17, 2015·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Charles D KovenWilliam J Riley
Sep 16, 2015·Journal of Mathematical Biology·Paul A RobertsHelen M Byrne

Related Concepts

Biochemical Turnover
Carbon Dioxide
Sampling - Surgical Action
Carbon Dioxide Content Measurement

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Sexual Dimorphism in Neurodegeneration

There exist sex differences in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. For instance, multiple sclerosis is more common in women, whereas Parkinson’s disease is more common in men. Here is the latest research on sexual dimorphism in neurodegeneration

HLA Genetic Variation

HLA genetic variation has been found to confer risk for a wide variety of diseases. Identifying these associations and understanding their molecular mechanisms is ongoing and holds promise for the development of therapeutics. Find the latest research on HLA genetic variation here.

Super-resolution Microscopy

Super-resolution microscopy is the term commonly given to fluorescence microscopy techniques with resolutions that are not limited by the diffraction of light. Here are the latest discoveries pertaining to super-resolution microscopy.

Genetic Screens in iPSC-derived Brain Cells

Genetic screening is a critical tool that can be employed to define and understand gene function and interaction. This feed focuses on genetic screens conducted using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived brain cells.

Brain Lower Grade Glioma

Low grade gliomas in the brain form from oligodendrocytes and astrocytes and are the slowest-growing glioma in adults. Discover the latest research on these brain tumors here.

CD4/CD8 Signaling

Cluster of differentiation 4 and 8 (CD8 and CD8) are glycoproteins founds on the surface of immune cells. Here is the latest research on their role in cell signaling pathways.

Alignment-free Sequence Analysis Tools

Alignment-free sequence analyses have been applied to problems ranging from whole-genome phylogeny to the classification of protein families, identification of horizontally transferred genes, and detection of recombined sequences. Here is the latest research.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.