Pedology (from Greek: πέδον, pedon, “soil”; and λόγος, logos, “study”) is the study of soils in their natural environment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedology_(soil_study)

Estimating the permafrost-carbon feedback on global warming

A key uncertainty is the fraction of carbon that might be decomposed under anaerobic conditions – resulting potentially in methane emissions to the atmosphere. Given the high warming potential of methane, the overall magnitude of the permafrost-carbon feedback will depend strongly on this fraction. Thawing of permafrost and the associated release of carbon constitutes a…

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…

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 Secret of El Dorado (The discovery of Biochar)

In 1542, the Spanish Conquistador, Francisco de Orellana ventured along the Rio Negro, one of the Amazon Basin’s great rivers. Hunting a hidden city of gold, his expedition found a network of farms, villages and even huge walled cities. At least that is what he told an eager audience on his return to Spain. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2002/eldorado.shtml…

The permafrost carbon feedback loop

THE world is on the cusp of a “tipping point” into dangerous climate change, according to new data gathered by scientists measuring methane leaking from the Arctic permafrost and a report presented to the United Nations on Tuesday. “The permafrost carbon feedback is irreversible on human time scales,” says the report, Policy Implications of Warming…

Melting permafrost releases greenhouse gases

A UN report has warned that carbon dioxide and methane released from melting permafrost could push the climate past a tipping point and dangerously accelerate global warming. Broadcast: 28/11/2012, Reporter: Tony Jones http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/conten… Thawing permafrost may amplify global warming, U.N. reports http://www.latimes.com/news/science/s… Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost http://www.unep.org/pdf/permafrost.pdf