Global Warming And Climate Change Essay

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A major and controversial topic in the world today is global warming and climate change. Carbon which is one of the bigger contributors to the greenhouse effect, can influence climate change. In its abundance, most of it is stored in the ground within the soil. It is known that respiration, which is the breakdown of molecules into carbon, water, and energy, plays a very large part in the cycling of carbon on the Earth. Understanding how different aspects of our environment can affect the cycling of carbon within soil, we can then apply it to potential changes of climate change and predict what could happen and can set up some pre-emptive measures.
Soil organic carbon is converted into its inorganic form due to the metabolism of various decomposers (ie. microbes) in the soil. (Kirschbaum, 1995). We expect the increase of temperature to result in a greater rate of CO2 production. This is because of a positive feedback loop created based on temperature; as temperature increases so does the metabolism of the detritivores which then increases the conversion of organic carbon to inorganic carbon dioxide (Kirschbaum, 1995). This yields more CO2, contributing to the greenhouse effect while also increasing temperature. We expect the treatments at the higher temperature (30°C) to result in a higher rate of CO2 production, because of the increased metabolic activity of decomposers. In addition to testing temperature, we will test the effects of altering litter composition.
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