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)

Understanding the long-term carbon-cycle: weathering of rocks – a vitally important carbon-sink

By John Mason / SkepticalScience   above: the processes of the long-term carbon-cycle that this post explores. Graphic: jg. This post delves into the long-term carbon cycle that involves the interactions of the atmosphere with rocks and oceans over many millions of years. Because of its length, I’ve broken it up into bookmarked sections for…

ScienceCasts: The “Sleeping Giant” in Arctic Permafrost

Visit science.nasa.gov/ for breaking science news. Arctic permafrost soils contain more accumulated carbon than all the human fossil-fuel emissions since 1850 combined. Warming Arctic permafrost, poised to release its own gases into the atmosphere, could be the “sleeping giant” of climate change. NASA Finds ‘Amazing’ Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks ‘Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring…

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…