Approaching the Truth of the Missing Carbon Sink
Wenfeng Wang1, Xi Chen1, Lunche Wang2, Heng Zhang3, Gang Yin1, Yifan Zhang4
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1State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography,
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, 830011, China
2School of Earth Science, China University of Geosciences,
Wuhan, 430074, China
3Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Fujian Normal University,
Fuqing, 350300, China
4Department of Chemistry, Inha University, 100 Inharo, Incheon 402-751, South Korea
Submission date: 2016-01-27
Final revision date: 2016-03-23
Acceptance date: 2016-03-23
Publication date: 2016-07-22
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(4):1799-1802
Numerous efforts in investigating the global carbon balance have concluded that the global CO2 budget cannot be balanced unless a ‘‘missing carbon sink’’ is invoked. Until now there have been considerable uncertainties as to the magnitude of the C-sink in different regions and the contributions of aboveground/ underground processes. This study is aimed at presenting a first estimate of the gap between observed soil respiration and its biological components in arid areas that characterize more than 30% of Earth’s total land surface. In the current literature, soil respiration flux is interpreted in the context of an unstated hypothesis that the fluxes were largely determined by underground biological processes. However, the assumption turned out to be incorrect. Negative soil respiration fluxes in unneglectable arid regions implied a gap in our knowledge. The first estimate of the gap between observed soil respiration flux and its biological components in the global arid regions is a beginning at determining the size of the missing C-sink.
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