Lal receives World Soil Prize

CFAES scientist Rattan Lal (pictured) received the Glinka World Soil Prize in a ceremony at the Rome headquarters of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization on Dec. 5, World Soil Day. The award is considered the highest honor in the soil science profession.

Lal, whose scientific career spans more than 50 years, is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. He was recognized for, among other things, his contributions to sustainable soil management and his research on restoring soil carbon, the latter being a way to increase crop yields, reduce hunger and remove climate change-causing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Read the full story. (Photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

How climate change is affecting water

“The quality and quantity of water available for use by people and ecosystems across the country are being affected by climate change, increasing risks and costs to agriculture, energy production, industry, recreation, and the environment.”

So say some of the summary findings of the recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment.

“Rising air and water temperatures and changes in precipitation are intensifying droughts, increasing heavy downpours, reducing snowpack, and causing declines in surface water quality, with varying impacts across regions,” the findings also say.

Read all of the report’s summary findings on water. Check out the report’s complete “Water” chapter.

Registration open for OEFFA conference

Registration is open for the 40th annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), set for Feb. 14-16 in Dayton. Scientists from CFAES are typically among the many speakers at the event, which is described as Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference. More than 1,200 people are expected to attend.

Find out more and register.

What you might have missed on Black Friday: Feds release dire climate report

“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. The impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future.” So begins the overview of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which the White House released late last week — on Nov. 23, the big Black Friday day of shopping. Read the full report (excellent, searchable website).

The report’s chapter about the Midwest notes, for example, that “Projected changes in precipitation, coupled with rising extreme temperatures before mid-century, will reduce Midwest agricultural productivity to levels of the 1980s without major technological advances.”

If you’re a member of the media and would like to interview someone about the effects of climate change in Ohio, including on agriculture, contact Aaron Wilson, who’s a climate specialist with CFAES’s OSU Extension outreach arm and a senior research associate with Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. He’s at wilson.1010@osu.edu, 614-292-7930. (Photo: Polar bear crosses a melt pond in the high Arctic Ocean, Getty Images.)

Join the conversation about soil balancing

The next “Soil Balancing Call-in Conversation,” organized by CFAES’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research program, is today, Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 1:30-3 p.m. The theme is “Soil Balancing: What Do the Numbers Say About Its Effects on Soils, Crops, Weeds and Farms?” There’s still time to register to participate.

The third conversation in the series, called “Soil Balancing: The Questions Matter,” is set for Dec. 12.

Download the flyer for the series.