When I first saw this article, I almost laughed. How could mushrooms be significant. But then I remembered that the northern forests are an extremely important part of the carbon cycle of the globe. I also remembered that the computer models need to accurately understand the roles of the northern forests in order to make predictions of doom due to global warming. Therefore, if mushrooms affect this contribution and if we don’t understand the mushrooms then we obviously have some issues with the models.
There is an old saying, “Garbage in = garbage out.” Whose turn is it to take out the garbage?
The fight against climate warming has an unexpected ally in mushrooms growing in dry spruce forests covering Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and other northern regions
When soil in these forests is warmed, fungi that feed on dead plant material dry out and produce significantly less climate-warming carbon dioxide than fungi in cooler, wetter soil. This came as a surprise to scientists, who expected warmer soil to emit larger amounts of carbon dioxide because extreme cold is believed to slow down the process by which fungi convert soil carbon into carbon dioxide.
This is especially important in northern forests, which contain an estimated 30 percent of the Earth’s soil carbon, equivalent to the amount of atmospheric carbon.
The scientists took measurements in the greenhouses and unheated plots and found that by growing season’s end in mid-August, soil in warmed greenhouses produced about half as much carbon dioxide as soil in cooler control plots.