Biologist comments on a startling new finding in climate change research

September 30, 2016 by Michael Price, San Diego State University
Biologist comments on a startling new finding in climate change research
SDSU biologist Donatella Zona wrote a commentary article about climate change research in the journal Nature this week. Credit: San Diego State University

The steady march of global warming over the past century has led to the thawing of permafrost—a layer of subsurface soil in the Arctic that usually remains frozen year-round. While that's troubling for local ecosystems, it could have disastrous global impacts as well. As this permafrost melts, it sets off a biochemical chain reaction in the soil that could dramatically increase the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, accelerating further climate change. San Diego State University biologist Donatella Zona wrote about this issue in a commentary article this week in the journal Nature.

In her commentary, she provides expert perspective on recent findings published in the journal Biogeosciences by Min Jung Kwon of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany. Kwon and her team report that the layer of permafrost typically acts as a barrier against moisture drainage in the soil. As this permafrost melts, the moisture drains out, leaving the top layers of the soil drier and warmer. This warming kick-starts a biochemical process within organic matter present in the soil that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are leading contributors to warming global temperatures.

"The authors report that the net effect of draining in their study is an increase in the amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere, which will ultimately magnify climate change," Zona wrote in her commentary.

Zona published a study about the effects of drainage in permafrost earlier this year in the journal Nature Geoscience. Additionally, she and fellow SDSU ecologist Walt Oechel, along with colleagues at several other institutions, published another study last year showing that the emission of methane, another greenhouse gas, is highest in the Arctic during the region's cold season. That was surprising, as most scientists thought little if any escaped the frozen soil during the cold season.

Sure enough, Kwon's recent study shows a similar trend for .

"Importantly, Kwon and colleagues show the increase is highest during the cold season, a notoriously under-studied part of the year in tundra ecosystems," Zona wrote.

More data is needed to better understand the long-term implications of these findings on larger climate change patterns, Zona said. But that's difficult, as funding for such studies is scarce.

"Unfortunately, given the costs of doing research in this region, tend to support projects of only 3–5 years—hardly long enough to provide even a first glimpse of the impact of ," she wrote. "Long-term studies would be possible only through a collaboration of research groups, with several funding agencies sharing the financial burden."

Explore further: Study measures methane release from Arctic permafrost

More information: Donatella Zona. Biogeochemistry: Long-term effects of permafrost thaw, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/537625a

Min Jung Kwon et al. Long-term drainage reduces CO2 uptake and increases CO2 emission on a Siberian floodplain due to shifts in vegetation community and soil thermal characteristics, Biogeosciences (2016). DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-4219-2016

Anna K. Liljedahl et al. Pan-Arctic ice-wedge degradation in warming permafrost and its influence on tundra hydrology, Nature Geoscience (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2674

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Anonym
1.8 / 5 (16) Sep 30, 2016
The Mighty Wurlitzer will not be silenced!

Melting Alpine glaciers yield up artifacts from 5,500 years ago, suggesting the "steady march" of global warming has been going on for a lot longer than 100 years. It must have been as warm when those artifacts were deposited, later to be buried under ice, as now, doncha think?
RichManJoe
3 / 5 (5) Sep 30, 2016
What have we left for our collective grandchildren.
tblakely1357
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 30, 2016
I'm curious if there is a consensus as to when Global Warming will kill off humanity and cause a mass extinction? Twenty years from now? Fifty? One hundred?
Benni
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 30, 2016
It must have been as warm when those artifacts were deposited, later to be buried under ice, as now, doncha think?


Perhaps - but without referencing any studies on the subject - you are just hand waving. Climate has been in a cooling trend for the past 5000 years or so


https://www.clima...E2%80%9D Ok, so here's a reference to a very in depth study of the site where Otzi Man was found. It also addresses the "warming trend" as a reversion to the to the time Otzi Man was killed in the Alps 5300 years or so ago.

antigoracle
Sep 30, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
philstacy9
1.4 / 5 (11) Sep 30, 2016
Climate change is driven by communism not carbon and since communism is allowing Islamic nuclear weapons that will be the end of civilization.
retrosurf
4 / 5 (9) Sep 30, 2016
Melting Alpine glaciers yield up artifacts from 5,500 years ago, suggesting the "steady march" of global warming has been going on for a lot longer than 100 years. It must have been as warm when those artifacts were deposited, later to be buried under ice, as now, doncha think?


No, it need not have been warm when those artifacts were deposited.
You should read at least one chapter from one book before you talk anymore about glaciers.

Benni
2.7 / 5 (7) Sep 30, 2016
No, it need not have been warm when those artifacts were deposited.
You should read at least one chapter from one book before you talk anymore about glaciers.
......then you need to read the report:https://www.clima...E2%80%9D

The report covers everything about the Otzi Man "artifacts" so precisely dated that it can't be made up.

retrosurf
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 30, 2016
I'm curious if there is a consensus as to when Global Warming will kill off humanity and cause a mass extinction? Twenty years from now? Fifty? One hundred?


I haven't seen a consensus. I do not think it will be a mass extinction: we will fade slowly from this ravaged planet.

Humans have something that animals do not: the Economy. This strange beast is something we cannot control or even predict, even though it arises in our own hearts and is expressed through our own hands wherever we are on Earth.

This Economy is more inventive and nimble than any one of us, and it never sleeps. Time and again it has confounded our predictions of what would happen, but the Economy ravages whatever is not-Economy.

The Economy will choose, at its whim, what lives and what dies. The Poor will die first, and then there will be created new Poor. And then the Poor will die again, but then there will be new Poor.

We are still waxing. On waning, the inflection point will be indistinct.
Vidyaguy
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 30, 2016
"Startling.."
"Steady march of global warming...
"troubling..."
"dangerous..."
"disastrous"
"chain reaction..."
"dramatically..."

I wonder if she is being sufficiently dramatic?

antigoracle
Oct 01, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ThomasQuinn
4.5 / 5 (8) Oct 01, 2016
Climate change is driven by communism not carbon and since communism is allowing Islamic nuclear weapons that will be the end of civilization.


I realize you are far too moronic to understand this, but as it is very simple I'll state it nonetheless: the communists FOUGHT AGAINST Islamic extremists, who were SUPPORTED BY RIGHT-WING REGIMES IN THE WEST (notably Reagan and Thatcher). In fact, most groups fighting against Islamic extremists TODAY are communists.
Edenlegaia
5 / 5 (2) Oct 01, 2016
I haven't seen a consensus. I do not think it will be a mass extinction: we will fade slowly from this ravaged planet.

Humans have something that animals do not: the Economy. This strange beast is something we cannot control or even predict, even though it arises in our own hearts and is expressed through our own hands wherever we are on Earth.


Prophecies on our extinction, shaming on our desires and ways to live (though it's perfectible, that i agree on).....nothing new.
That "beast" we created is just "us". It's more likely to be in control than you think. It's just not in YOUR control.
And we're also more likely to find a way to survive in "this ravaged planet" or somewhere else than to fade away on it.
Mankind is too vicious to simply wither and disappear. If you fully expect us to succomb to climate change without a slight possibility of adaptation or successful back door strategy, you may be in for quite the surprise.
Benni
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 01, 2016
Benni
The report covers everything about the Otzi Man "artifacts" so precisely dated that it can't be made up.
I read the article - actually one that I have referenced several times recently. Could not find anything about Otzi man. How odd. Good article though. A quote from it.
........got my links mixed up, here's the one about Otzi:

http://www.forbes...ba2e5330
geokstr
1 / 5 (6) Oct 01, 2016
Climate change is driven by communism not carbon and since communism is allowing Islamic nuclear weapons that will be the end of civilization.


I realize you are far too moronic to understand this, but as it is very simple I'll state it nonetheless: the communists FOUGHT AGAINST Islamic extremists, who were SUPPORTED BY RIGHT-WING REGIMES IN THE WEST (notably Reagan and Thatcher). In fact, most groups fighting against Islamic extremists TODAY are communists.


I realize you are far too buried in the religion of St Karl of Marx to admit this, but the Islamic extremists were allied with the other evil Marxist spawn in WWII, the National Socialists. Reagan was only supporting them in their war against each other. And the United States certainly won't fight them today, not with a closet Muslim leading the country.
Bongstar420
1 / 5 (2) Oct 01, 2016
I thought this was a priori

Anyways, hope it lasts. If it was getting colder, I'd be more worried
ThomasQuinn
5 / 5 (6) Oct 02, 2016
Climate change is driven by communism not carbon and since communism is allowing Islamic nuclear weapons that will be the end of civilization.


I realize you are far too moronic to understand this, but as it is very simple I'll state it nonetheless: the communists FOUGHT AGAINST Islamic extremists, who were SUPPORTED BY RIGHT-WING REGIMES IN THE WEST (notably Reagan and Thatcher). In fact, most groups fighting against Islamic extremists TODAY are communists.


I realize you are far too buried in the religion of St Karl of Marx to admit this, but the Islamic extremists were allied with the other evil Marxist spawn in WWII, the National Socialists. Reagan was only supporting them in their war against each other. And the United States certainly won't fight them today, not with a closet Muslim leading the country.


The nazis were explicitly anti-Marxist. That's a simple fact. Moroccan, Algerian, Indian and other Muslims fought with the allies.
optical
Oct 02, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
howhot3
3.6 / 5 (9) Oct 03, 2016
The Al Goreacle says;
-- onion retard
The onion jackass brays. It's a pity you did not remember that quote when you were on that 2 day, 1200 mile, CO2 spewing jaunt. But, keep braying jackass, that will reduce your CO2.

Oh, let me guess. You walk it, live in your mom's basement, and toss your McDonald's bag on the road after your dinner. You could do the right thing of course by buying an EV, put grid tied solar panels on your mom's roof and feel all smug like your doing something to impress your wingnut butties.

Global CO2 levels are at 402.24 ppm and rising exponentially. http://co2now.org. That is way past the tipping point, so smart guy you are, you should know what will happen; Everything the experts have predicted, including a massive extinction.

I look forward to all the dim bulb denier replies. Have a good extinction.

antigoracle
1 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2016
Do you have an explanation for that reversal? What do you think is causing the current warming trend?
-- onion jackass
The onions jackass brays again. Tell us jackass, were you thinking of this when you went on that 1200 mile jaunt, in which you emitted over a tenth of the US annual average CO2? Keep braying jackass that will reduce your CO2 emissions.
TrollBane
5 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2016
rantygoracle again displays his uncanny ability to spew a retort, er response, without answering the question.
gkam
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 03, 2016
If we all report antigore, will it be banned?
Zzzzzzzz
5 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2016
The Mighty Wurlitzer will not be silenced!

Melting Alpine glaciers yield up artifacts from 5,500 years ago, suggesting the "steady march" of global warming has been going on for a lot longer than 100 years. It must have been as warm when those artifacts were deposited, later to be buried under ice, as now, doncha think?

No. It only means that more ice was added, covering the those remains. This actually may indicate the opposite - that the climate was getting colder when the remains were deposited.
Zzzzzzzz
4.4 / 5 (7) Oct 03, 2016
I realize you are far too buried in the religion of St Karl of Marx to admit this, but the Islamic extremists were allied with the other evil Marxist spawn in WWII, the National Socialists. Reagan was only supporting them in their war against each other. And the United States certainly won't fight them today, not with a closet Muslim leading the country.

What a complete Dumb Phark you are.
Captain Stumpy
4.8 / 5 (4) Oct 03, 2016
It does seem that physorg is flooded with crazies at the moment - guess it goes in waves
@GreenO
sort-of
they can't afford to moderate full time (which was why i provided them with a template to have volunteer MOD services) so it is a quarterly thing, mostly... but not guaranteed

they've declined my plan for MODS thus far. so it's completely an issue of click-bait and the necessity of having "original profiles" regardless of the ownership of said profiles (otherwise there wouldn't be 100+ zeph accounts still available - and yes, i checked that recently. counted them again and checked to see if they're still listed/active)

.

.

.

If we all report antigore, will it be banned?
nope
i happen to know from feedback from others that he's been reported by multiple people for years and is still posting

just like you
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Oct 03, 2016
the above was not clear as to whom i was speaking, so i will clarify.

the last part was not directed towards GreenO... and it was a liar-kam quote

so for the sake of clarity and so GreenO knows i aint referring to him, i am repeating the last part below with specific attention to the intended target or post referenced

.

.

@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-KAM
If we all report antigore, will it be banned?
nope
i happen to know from feedback from others that he's been reported by multiple people for years and is still posting

just like you
antigoracle
1 / 5 (3) Oct 03, 2016
If we all report antigore, will it be banned?
I don't think so. I think physorg likes the clicks they get from the likes of goracle. It is nice putting goracle on ignore - much better for the frame of mind. It does seem that physorg is flooded with crazies at the moment - guess it goes in waves. The articles are still as good as always....
-- onionTard
The jackass brays again.
Just like you ignore your hypocrisy. Why don't you boast again about your gas guzzling jaunt, in which you spewed over a tenth of the US annual average CO2, in just 2 DAYS.

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