Greenhouse gases

Warming from freezing soils

Freezing and thawing of soils leads to large pulses of nitrous oxide release. An empirical model shows that cropland winter nitrous oxide emissions are substantial, calling for a revision of the global nitrous oxide budget.

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Figure 1: Locations of field studies that report soil N2O emissions during winter or freeze–thaw events.


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Correspondence to Klaus Butterbach-Bahl or Benjamin Wolf.

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Butterbach-Bahl, K., Wolf, B. Warming from freezing soils. Nature Geosci 10, 248–249 (2017).

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