A key player in the Earth’s carbon cycle, soil contains around three times more carbon than our atmosphere. In soil, the creation of solid organic carbon includes decomposing plants and animals. Gradually, the decomposition of this organic matter releases carbon into the atmosphere as CO2. Gas released from the soil into the lower atmosphere is called positive flux. Gas that is absorbed into the soil is called negative flux.
The balance between the two determines whether soils are a net source, or a net sink of GHG. How much carbon is held in our soil impacts its fertility, water quality, plant growth and microbial activity. Our ability, therefore, to monitor and measure carbon gases or flux, allows us an important insight into the health, not just our soil, but also our wider ecosystem and impact on climate change. As temperatures increase, so too does microbial activity, plant decomposition and CO2 emissions. There is, therefore, a need for more soil flux data and modelling.