Articles | Volume 20, issue 18
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-20-3767-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-20-3767-2023
Research article
 | 
19 Sep 2023
Research article |  | 19 Sep 2023

Simulated responses of soil carbon to climate change in CMIP6 Earth system models: the role of false priming

Rebecca M. Varney, Sarah E. Chadburn, Eleanor J. Burke, Simon Jones, Andy J. Wiltshire, and Peter M. Cox

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Short summary
This study evaluates soil carbon projections during the 21st century in CMIP6 Earth system models. In general, we find a reduced spread of changes in global soil carbon in CMIP6 compared to the previous CMIP5 generation. The reduced CMIP6 spread arises from an emergent relationship between soil carbon changes due to change in plant productivity and soil carbon changes due to changes in turnover time. We show that this relationship is consistent with false priming under transient climate change.
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