With permission from Houghton et al. (2001).
loading rate. The loading rate is calculated as the difference between global production and consumption of CH4, which results in an increase in atmospheric CH4 of approximately 28 to 32 Tg CH4 year-1. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas compared to CO2 and its production and release has garnered much interest from the scientific community.
The close link between NPP, NSP, and SOM and their influence on the sources and sinks for greenhouse gases indicate the importance of the global C cycle in regulating ecosystem productivity and climate. The major production and turnover of the components of the C cycle are fairly well characterized at the process level and microscale, for example in a gram of soil. However, on a global scale the interaction of organismal and metabolic diversity, sources and sinks for C, and anthropogenic influences have yet to be fully appreciated. These interactions must be better understood to adequately predict ecosystem response to perturbations such as climate change. Continued research on the biology and physical factors affecting the global C cycle is required to fully comprehend it.
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