The world’s deserts could be key to understanding climate change

This story, like many, begins with rejection.

Jose Gruenzweig grew up within the lush, inexperienced hills of Switzerland and studied the chilly, moist forests of Alaska earlier than settling into his present position as affiliate professor of Agriculture, Food and Environment on the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Israel’s climate is notably drier than these he’d lived in earlier than, with scarce rainfall, delicate winters, and sizzling, dry summers that produced one of many world’s hottest temperatures ever recorded at 129 levels Fahrenheit. As a eager observer of ecosystems, he could not assist however ponder the variations.

Gruenzweig research soil decomposition, amongst different issues. The technique of microbes breaking down useless plant materials into vitamins that rising crops can use is a crucial pure cycle in lots of ecosystems. In some conditions, soil can even seize and retailer carbon dioxide from the environment, serving to counteract the climate-warming results of this frequent greenhouse fuel.

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