Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Soil: The future beneath our feet

The IntersectionBy The IntersectionJanuary 28, 2011 4:36 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

This is a guest post composed as part of the NSF Science: Becoming the Messenger workshop, Lawrence KS January 27, 2011

Along the equator, clay-rich, red-orange soils, several meters deep and nutrient-poor form due to large amounts of year-round precipitation. Beneath the prairies, in semi-arid to humid regions, black soils, just a meter deep, support the breadbaskets of the world. While it is clear that climate exerts great influence on soil properties and soil-forming pathways, we do not understand this relationship well. And, this means, in the shadow of global warming, that we can’t predict how climate change will affect soils around the world. Why should you care? Most of us don’t even think about the soil beneath our feet. Soils, however, are essential to feeding the world. Soils take thousands of years to form and properties such as soil structure, that are crucial to water movement in soil and availability of water to plants, cannot be created by man - only by nature. Scientists must cross disciplines and study the soil climate relationship in order to determine the potential future of this essential and non-renewable natural resource. Our understanding of how climate change will affect the soil is crucial to our ability to feed ourselves, and our children’s children. - Ashley Zung

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In