[Environment] ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : CHEMISTRY : MOUNTAINS : SOIL : ECOLOGY : PLANTS: Climate Change Causes Fundamental Shifts in the Chemistry of Mountain Soil

 

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ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

CHEMISTRY :

MOUNTAINS :

SOIL :

ECOLOGY :

PLANTS:

Climate Change Causes Fundamental Shifts in the Chemistry of Mountain Soil

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Climate Change Causes Fundamental Shifts in the Chemistry of Mountain Soil

New research says the changes will likely displace some plants altogether and dramatically shift the range of others.

By Bob Berwyn

Pacific Standard

https://psmag.com/ global-warming-is-changing-mountain-soils-8b527fe1b7ec#.d293tdz2z

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/gl4udu5

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A warming climate will fundamentally change the chemistry of mountain soils by shifting the balance of nutrients, visibly disrupting fragile, high-elevation ecosystems of grasses, flowers and trees within decades.

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Most of the worlds mountain regions are warming twice as fast as the global average, speeding up microbial activity. As a result, the ratio of two key nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, is shifting fast, according to University of Vermont researcher Nathan Sanders, one of an international team that studied soil chemistry in seven mountain regions around the world over the course of a growing season. The changes will likely displace some plants altogether and dramatically shift the range of others, he said.

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The results show how some climate change impacts will occur on a global scale. The scientists made the same findings at mountain plots In Japan, British Columbia, New Zealand, Patagonia, Colorado, Australia, and Europe: As temperatures warm, nitrogen increases, but phosphorus does not, decoupling a critical cycle for plants, Sanders said.

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The study, published last week in the journal Nature, suggests that future climate warming will substantially alter the way that these sensitive ecosystems function.

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Were seeing these things become unlinked and trying to understand the consequences, Sanders said. The results are especially convincing because the international team made the same findings at so many different sites around the globe. We studied places with different geology, different plant communities, and yet we saw the same thing over and over again.

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Instead of heating patches of ground with lamps or greenhouses, this team of scientists used elevation as a surrogate for climate warming. Temperature changes with elevation at a steady, known rate. Factoring that rate into a simple equation with the projected rate of global warming shows that any given location will have the same temperature in 80 years as that of an elevation that is 300 meters lower, Sanders explained.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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