Among his other accomplishments, UW-Madison soil scientist Jim Bockheim helped convince his colleagues that Antarctic “soil” really was soil—no quotation marks required. Soils specialists had debated the point for about 70 years, beginning when explorer Ernest Shackleton bought back samples of loose, sandy, and grayish material collected from the surface of the coldest continent. In 1994, Bockheim led an international committee, which, after three years of intense debate, established a 12th soil order specifically for permanently frozen soils: the Gelisols. Bockheim continues to research Antarctic soils. Not surprisingly, the focus is on the impacts of climate change. Read more in this article on the Soil Science Society of America website.
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