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…

Last Time Carbon Dioxide Levels Were This High: 15 Million Years Ago

By analyzing the chemistry of bubbles of ancient air trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists have been able to determine the composition of Earth’s atmosphere going back as far as 800,000 years, and they have developed a good understanding of how carbon dioxide levels have varied in the atmosphere since that time. But there has been…

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…

Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment

Landmark Report of an Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate – Woods Hole, Massachusetts to the Climate Research Board, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Research Council, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES | Washington, D.C. 1979 We have examined the principal attempts to simulate the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on climate.…

Climate Change Linked to Ozone Loss: May Result in More Skin Cancer

A newly-discovered connection between climate change and depletion of the ozone layer over the U.S. could allow more damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation to reach the Earth’s surface. As reported in a paper published in the July 27 issue of Science, a team of researchers led by James G. Anderson, the Philip S. Weld Professor of…

Arctic Amplification and Extreme Weather

The “Arctic Paradox” was coined during recent winters when speculations arose that the dramatic changes in the Arctic may be linked to severe snowstorms and cold temperatures in mid-latitudes, particularly along the U.S. east coast and in Europe. Recent studies have illuminated these linkages. Evidence is presented for a physical mechanism connecting Arctic Amplification —…

Lesson: Arctic Sea Ice Decline

Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University – assesses the broad topic of the Arctic Sea Ice Decline and explains seasonal impacts. Observations, especially since the 1950’s, explain how the “Arctic Amplification” leads to rapid sea ice changes during the summer month. Much more ridging in North America during the winter. And this affects weather patterns, because a…

Catastrophic sea levels ‘distinct possibility’ this century

A breakthrough study of fluctuations in sea levels the last time Earth was between ice ages, as it is now, shows that oceans rose some three meters in only decades due to collapsing ice sheets. The findings suggest that such an scenario — which would redraw coastlines worldwide and unleash colossal human misery — is…

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…

Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica

We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic…

Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth

There is clear evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is contributing to sea-level rise. In contrast, West Antarctic temperature changes in recent decades remain uncertain. West Antarctica has probably warmed since the 1950s, but there is disagreement regarding the magnitude, seasonality and spatial extent of this warming. This is primarily because long-term near-surface temperature…

Climate Change Puts Even ‘Safe’ Species at Risk

By Tim Redford, Climate News Network: LONDON—Climate change doesn’t just threaten species that are already vulnerable – it could have alarming consequences for a huge range of birds, corals and amphibians that no-one had considered in danger of extinction before, according to a new study. Wendy Foden of the International Union for the Conservation of…

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,…

Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks

NSA Prism is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism The Guardian: Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. New Zealandcourt…