The ground beneath our feet is an important part of the biosphere. What happens in the soil directly affects the weather and climate in the atmosphere above us. From water storage to heat storage, the soil is an often overlooked component of the earth's biosphere.
There are several soil monitoring stations around Fairbanks but the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest site ( 64.699030N 148.258742W) is the one I check on the most frequently. The FP1A station is approximately 15 miles southeast of Fairbanks along the Tanana River. The site description is as follows: "FP1A is located on a low early successional terrace (1.8 - 2 m above winter low river level) adjacent to the Tanana River. Vegetation establishment occurred in 1982 to 1983. Significant bank erosion has occurred since the establishment of the study area, resulting in loss of some study plots."
The chart below shows the daily normal temperature (°C) for sensors at 0 cm, 5 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, 50 cm, 100 cm, and 200 cm between 1989 and 2012 (Note: these are depths below the organic layer at the surface). The small black squares are the November 21st 2013, readings. The color of the square corresponds to the color of the line (the 0 cm and 5 cm boxes are nearly on top of one another). As you can see, the soil temperatures are far above normal for this time of year. In fact, if you look at the table below the chart, the 11/21/13 readings were the highest on record (for the date) for 5 cm and 50 cm sensors during the 25 years of observations.
I am interested is seeing if there is a correlation between ice measurements along the Tanana and the subsurface temperatures.