This paper investigates changes in the high-volatile bituminous Lower Block Coal Member from Indiana owing to moisture availability and oxidation in air at ambient pressure and temperature over storage time. Specifically, it investigates changes in chemistry, in surface area, and pore structure, as well as changes in methane and carbon dioxide adsorption capacities. Our results document that the methane adsorption capacity increased by 40%, whereas CO2 adsorption capacity increased by 18% during a 13-month time period. These changes in adsorption are accompanied by changes in chemistry and surface area of the coal. The observed changes in adsorption capacity indicate that special care must be taken when collecting samples and preserving coals until adsorption characteristics are measured in the laboratory. High-pressure isotherms from partially dried coal samples would likely cause overestimation of gas adsorption capacities, lead to a miscalculation of coal-bed methane prospects, and provide deceptively optimistic prognoses for recovery of coal-bed methane or capture of anthropogenic CO2. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.