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Soil Temperature & Global Warming
Soil temperature varies from one month to the next depending upon such factors as solar radiation, rainfall, seasonal swings in overhead air temperature, plant cover, soil type, and depth in the earth. Seasonal changes in soil temperatures deep in the ground are smaller than those at the surface, and lag behind seasonal changes in air temperature. In spring the soil warms more slowly than the air. By summer it is cooler than the air overhead.
The temperature of the soil at the earth’s surface is very sensitive to air temperature. In a semi-arid climate, the soil temperature 2 inches below the surface can fluctuate by 10 deg C over the course of 24 hours. Under the same conditions, the temperature a foot down might fluctuate by only 1 deg C. At depths ranging from 15 to 30 ft, the soil temperature does not fluctuate.
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