What is it about?

This article evaluated the effects of warming rate on the decomposition of subtropical peats, by applying either a large single-step (10°C within a day) or a slow ramping (0.1°C/day for 100 days) temperature increase. T C loss was greater in the slow warming treatment which is also associated with greater microbial biomass and carbon use efficiency. However, greater radiative forcing was associated with higher methane production in the fast warming treatment.

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Why is it important?

We observed different responses in fast vs. slow warming treatment combined with different endpoints which suggests about alternate pathways for long-term processes. More importantly, we incorporated experimental results into organic matter decomposition models and demonstrated that parameter uncertainties (e.g. carbon use efficiency and methane to carbon dioxide production ratios) could have a larger impact on long-term soil organic carbon and global warming potential than uncertainty in model structure.

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This page is a summary of: Rate of warming affects temperature sensitivity of anaerobic peat decomposition and greenhouse gas production, Global Change Biology, September 2017, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13839.
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