Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Critical Issues in Global Soil Health

Soil health is rarely equated into discussions of climate change, environmental protection, and sustainable development.

However, soils play such a vital role in the planet’s survival that life cannot exist without them. They provide the basis for food and fiber production; support a diversity of plant, animal, and microbial life; and regulate nutrient cycles and gas exchange with the atmosphere.

The changes that are affecting our planet also have a detrimental impact on our soil. The Dust Bowl era of the 1930s perfectly exemplifies the devastating impact of soil depletion. Millions of acres of land were damaged and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced because careless agricultural practices and failure to respect the role of soil. While the debate continues as to whether these current changes to the global environment are natural or the result of an ever increasing human population, there is a critical need to address the future health of global soils.

A team of researchers representing the 2008 Emerging Issues in Soil Science Committee of the Soil Science Society of America identified the most important questions that future generations will face when dealing with changes in soil structure. These questions will serve as a guide for direction of soil science research.

Eight issues were identified by the researchers including demands for food, water, nutrients, and energy, and the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, biological waste recycling, and global resource equity.

According to the authors, addressing these key issues effectively will require a four-step approach which includes, “refocusing research to the most urgent problems, broadening their vision from soil to entire ecosystems, enticing young scientists to pursue careers in the field, and improving soil science's image problem with better stories of its past successes and future prospects.”

The authors hope the study will help steer soil science research in the necessary direction and prompt future discussions on preserving our planets soils.

In addition, SSSA has identified research priority areas and critical knowledge gaps to guide interdisciplinary soil science research for the next 20 years and beyond. View the Grand Challenges online, at:

A full study authored by the team of researchers is available in the January/ February 2011 issue of Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Sara Uttech | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>