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…

Research closes gap between Warming and CO2 Rise

Feedbacks in the climate system – in which warming is linked to natural CO2 increase, driving further warming – may operate faster than previously thought. ACE CRC: Researchers use Antarctic and Greenland ice cores to examine temperature and CO2 changes during the largest natural climate change in Earth’s recent climate history: the warming out of…

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.…

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…

Carbon Dioxide Is ‘Driving Fish Crazy’

Science Daily: Jan. 21, 2012 — Rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous system of sea fishes with serious consequences for their survival, an international scientific team has found. Carbon dioxide concentrations predicted to occur in the ocean by the end of this century will interfere with fishes’ ability…

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…

Video: Lake El’gygytgyn, Pleistocene super-Interglacials and Arctic warmth

John Mason / Skeptical Science: Here is a must-see 2012 presentation by Julie Brigham-Grette of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, covering the research her team has been doing into Lake El’gygytgyn (pronouned El-Guh-Git-Kin), a water-filled meteor crater in Arctic Russia that came into being after the impact of a ~1km diameter space-rock, 3.6 million years ago.…