Pat Shingleton: "Soil Classifications and Weird Words..."
Researchers have identified 13,129 classifications of soil and that 31 of those soil classifications are nearly extinct. The reason are due to agricultural effects or other land usage. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reported that soils found on less than 25,000 acres are already considered rare and that these rare soils are commonly found in agricultural regions, such as the Midwestern sections of the United States. After analyzing maps on soil types, agricultural use and urban growth, researchers found that 80% of rare soils are half as abundant as they had been before their conversion to agricultural or urban use. The reason for soil disruption is an increase in carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, determined that 20% of all carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere results from human activity, such as farming. Referencing the American Meteorological Society, years ago they conducted a contest to answer the question: "What's a word or short phrase for a snow that shuts down schools for the day?" One response explained that snow hitting the schoolyard was a "Blizzyard." Another entry was "scis" for "school closed, ice/snow." Instead of following the guidelines for the question one entry was "snowverwhelmed," a word that described the state of parents caught off-guard by boisterous kids instead of a blizzard-closing snow-out. The entry "snump" can be used as a noun or verb, describing that the snowy conditions prevented one from doing what they intended to do. Back then the winner received the 854-page Glossary of Meteorology with a catchy word - "emanciprecipitation."