Warming global temperatures are changing life on every continent on Earth, including Antarctica, where more microbes are moving in to territory previously covered by ice. How these microbes respond to warming offers us clues about what future Antarctica will look like and who will thrive there. Microbial ecologist and PhD candidate Alicia Purcell from the Center for Ecosystem… Read more
As Arctic tundra has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet in… Read more
If the fate of carbon is a test that planet Earth is taking right now, one of the answer keys is likely to be found in soil, where microorganisms—which account for nearly 15 percent of global biomass, by some estimates—eat, store and respire carbon and other nutrients. As Earth warms, how these microbes change the way they live will have potentially big consequences for where the carbon goes.
Now, a team led… Read more
Pools of old carbon in the soil of boreal forests historically safe from combustion are being released by more frequent and larger wildfires, a team led by researchers at Northern Arizona University announced in Nature this week. As the climate of these forests in the Northwest Territories of Canada becomes warmer and drier and prone to more frequent… Read more
The Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and biosphere are huge reservoirs of carbon, and all play a critical role in global carbon cycling. Soil is one of the largest carbon pools on the planet, storing more carbon than the atmosphere and biosphere combined, yet scientists aren’t sure what regulates carbon persistence—the amount of carbon that remains in the soil.
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)… Read more
Snowmelt is a vital source of soil moisture in northern Arizona, but in overly dense forests where tree canopies merge, up to 60 percent of the snow never reaches the ground.