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Deep soil carbon study published in Nature Geoscience

Dr. Alain Plante is co-author of a study recently published in Nature Geoscience on the characterization of organic matter in buried paleosols.

These soils accumulated organic matter as they formed thousands of years ago, and are now buried deep below the U.S. Great Plains in Nebraska. These carbon-rich paleosols were found to contain substantial amounts of fire-derived carbon and also retained much of the chemical signature of its plant origin, suggesting rapid burial and cessation of decomposition. These important findings suggest that deep soils can contain substantial stocks of organic carbon which could, through erosion, or other human activities, be re-released back to the atmosphere and contribute to global climate change.

The article is published in the June 2014 issue of Nature Geoscience, was commented on in a News & Views item, and was picked up by several news outlets including Science Daily

Department of Earth and Environmental Science / University of Pennsylvania, 251 Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316