Cyclone Activity Has Been Intensified in the Arctic

Cyclones are key weather elements that make a major contribution to climate trends and variability, and that also bring intense high-frequency changes in wind, temperature and precipitation. Given the recent dramatic change of the Arctic climate, Arctic cyclone activity has attracted an increasing amount of attention. We investigated the Arctic cyclone activity in the context…

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.…

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…