Graduate Student Zack Labe interviewed by Climate Central

"It’s an interesting time to be alive, but perhaps an even more interesting time to join the climate science field. We’re at a crucial turning point for both the field and humanity.

Scientists entering the field now are standing on the shoulders of more than 150 years of climate change research. Our scientific knowledge of climate change has expanded tremendously since John Tyndall’s work on greenhouse gases starting in the 1850s (and even since James Hansen’s 1988 testimony before Congress for that matter).

Postdoctoral scholar Yujie He's research featured in Chemistry World

Carbon dioxide is vital for photosynthesis, so it is generally assumed that in a world with more carbon dioxide plants will grow faster and when they die more carbon will locked away in soil. A crucial question, however, is how quickly soils can respond to long term changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Climate models today use soil models based principally on laboratory studies, but terrestrial ecosystem scientist Yujie He of the University of California, Irvine, US, says these neglect some mechanisms that may prevent the carbon content of soil increasing rapidly.

Associate Professor Steven Allison and Postdoctoral Scholar Yujie He Featured in The Guardian

Scientists from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) found that models used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assume a much faster cycling of carbon through soils than is actually the case. Data taken from 157 soil samples taken from around the world show the average age of soil carbon is more than six times older than previously thought.