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Current Affairs

Global warming could allow Carbon to escape

Date: 10 November 2020 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

A new study has found that warming of the earth’s temperature by 2 degree Celsius would release upto 230 billion tons of Carbon.

 

Background

Earth's soil contains nearly three times as much CO2, absorbing roughly a quarter of all human emissions each year.

 

Details

  • While warming temperatures are known to increase decomposition and shorten the amount of time carbon spends in the soil, it's still not clear how sensitive this system is to temperature changes. 

  • The study does not include other greenhouse gases, like methane, which are also stored in the soil and which are many times more powerful as a global warmer than carbon dioxide.

  • Most soil carbon is stored in peatland or permafrost, and unfortunately, these common Arctic habitats are on the frontlines of global warming.

 

Carbon sinks

  • A carbon sink is anything that absorbs more carbon than it releases as carbon dioxide. European forests are currently a net carbon sink as they take in more carbon than they emit. 

  • Globally, the two most important carbon sinks are vegetation and the ocean.

 

Kyoto protocol

  • The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that aimed to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the presence of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere.

  • The essential tenet of the Kyoto Protocol was that industrialized nations needed to lessen the amount of their CO2 emissions.

 

Brazzaville declaration

  • The Brazzaville Declaration aims to implement coordination and cooperation between different government sectors to protect the benefits provided by peatland ecosystems.

  • Peatlands are a type of wetlands which are among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. They are critical for preserving global biodiversity, provide safe drinking water, minimise flood risk, and help address climate change.