Soil moisture drives year-to-year change in land carbon uptake

There has been significant debate over what exactly causes interannual variability in land carbon uptake. A new study published in¬†Nature¬†resolves this debate, showing that soil moisture is indeed in the driver’s seat in terms of how much carbon dioxide is taken up by land ecosystems. The study also concludes that the amount of moisture in the soil affects temperatures and humidity near the surface, which in turn affect plants’ ability to fix carbon.