Soil carbon and climate change: from the Jenkinson effect to the compost-bomb instability

Study: Long-term warming equivalent to 10°C per century could be sufficient to trigger compost-bomb instability in drying organic soils Wiley: First generation climate–carbon cycle models suggest that climate change will suppress carbon accumulation in soils, and could even lead to a net loss of global soil carbon over the next century. These model results are qualitatively…

Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

Release of 14C-depleted methane to the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of permafrost thaw and receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland Nature Geoscience (2012) Abstract Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, such as coal beds and natural gas deposits. In the Arctic, permafrost and glaciers form a ‘cryosphere…

First evidence of under-ice volcanic eruption in Antarctica

The first evidence of a volcanic eruption from beneath Antarctica’s most rapidly changing ice sheet. The volcano on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet erupted 2000 years ago (325BC) and remains active. Using airborne ice-sounding radar, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) discovered a layer of ash produced by a ‘subglacial’ volcano. It extends across an…

Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss

EurekAlert British Antarctic Survey Jul 25 2012: Scientists have discovered a one mile deep rift valley hidden beneath the ice in West Antarctica, which they believe is contributing to ice loss from this part of the continent. Experts from the University of Aberdeen and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) made the discovery below Ferrigno Ice Stream,…

How Hot will it Get?

The latest projections about the extent of planetary warming and the dire consequences of our growing carbon imbalance. Series: “Science at the Theater” [Science] A special Earth Day edition of Science at the Theater —”How Hot Will It Get?” — Featuring presentations by Lab climate scientists Bill Collins, Margaret Torn, Michael Wehner, and Jeff Chambers,…

Permafrost: The Tipping Time Bomb

“If we can limit our emissions, then the permafrost region will release less carbon to the atmosphere, there is a curve – it’s not a all or nothing question.” Ben Abbott One of the most feared of climate change “feedbacks” is the potential release of greenhouse gases by melting arctic permafrost soils. New research indicates…

3.5 mil years ago, summer temps were ~8°C warmer than today, CO2 was ~400 ppm

Two recent studies on past temperatures… Pliocene Warmth, Polar Amplification, and Stepped Pleistocene Cooling Recorded in NE Arctic Russia Understanding the evolution of Arctic polar climate from the protracted warmth of the middle Pliocene into the earliest glacial cycles in the Northern Hemisphere has been hindered by the lack of continuous, highly resolved Arctic time…

The 8 Minute Epoch 65 million Years with James Hansen

In a speech at the University of Oregon, James Hansen, NASA’s chief atmospheric scientist, walks listeners thru the most recent geologic periods, and speaks to the commonly heard climate canard, “It’s been hotter in earth’s history before – so what’s the big deal?’ this presentation and others by Hansen available here: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/present… James Hansen’s original…