Newswise — July 2, 2018 – Carbon is a key element, weaving its way through the survival of all living things. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) July 1 Soils Matter blog explains how carbon gets into soil, and how climate change is making a difference.

“Carbon moves readily between atmosphere, oceans, and terrestrial environments in response to natural processes and human activities,” says blog writer Mark Clark. Clark is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist and retired NRCS Alaska soil scientist. “Massive amounts of carbon are stored in soil and plants, oceans, and in geologic formations such as coal, oil, and gas.”

The Subarctic and Arctic regions are unique in their soils. “Soils in the Arctic and Subarctic contain nearly half of the planet’s terrestrial carbon,” Clark says. “They entomb carbon within the permanently frozen substrate soils. In addition, the thick organic mats common to these soils stores more carbon.”

“A warming climate is quickly changing landscapes of the Arctic and Subarctic as permafrost melts and soils change from net carbon sinks to atmospheric sources of carbon dioxide.”

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The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.