Soils, carbon and climate change: CFAES’s Lal speaks on national, world stages

CFAES scientist Rattan Lal (pictured) has been busy lately.

The Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science joined a Dec. 4 National Public Radio panel discussion called “The Ground Beneath Our Feet”; was quoted in a Dec. 3 New York Times opinion piece titled “Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet”; and keynoted three recent international events related to soils, carbon and climate change.

Lal is also the director of our college’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. Visit the center’s website.

CFAES’s Lal is a Highly Cited Researcher

Rattan Lal’s work, you could say, is very fertile. The CFAES scientist, who’s a Distinguished University Professor of soil science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, was recently profiled as one of Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers. “For nearly four decades,” says the story by Sarah Tanksalvala, “Lal has been a leader in addressing soil as a key aspect of the biggest issues facing our planet today.” Read the story.

‘Interdependent, interconnected, indivisible’

water deeply imageIncreasing organic matters levels in the soil, through farming practices such as growing cover crops, not only benefits the soil and food crops but sequesters carbon and retains moisture. So said CFAES scientist Rattan Lal in a June 6 story by the Water Deeply media project, which is covering California’s drought. Sequestering carbon helps fight climate change; retaining moisture helps against drought. Lal is a Distinguished University Professor of soil science in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. “The health of the soil, plants, animals, people and ecosystems,” he said at the end of the story, “are interdependent, interconnected and indivisible.”

Near Cincinnati: Historic Farm Tour and Biochar Workshop

July 9.On July 9, Gorman Heritage Farm in Evendale near Cincinnati hosts the next stop in the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. It’s a two-part event: There’s a Biochar Workshop from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a Historic Farm Tour from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The farm dates back to 1835. Biochar is a type of charcoal that can boost soil health and plant growth and help sequester carbon. The tour is free but you have to sign up in advance; participation is limited to 40 people. The workshop is $15, also is limited to 40 people and also requires pre-registration. Get details here on pp. 9-10.

Can carbon farming save us?

CFAES scientist Rattan Lal was quoted last week in a story on carbon farming (aka carbon sequestration) called “Soil Matters” in Comstock’s magazine. The question: Can carbon farming really save us?

“It won’t be easy,” Lal says. “First of all we must stop adding carbon to the atmosphere. We must end fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, but it’s not happening yet.”

A world expert on carbon sequestration, Lal is a Distinguished University Professor in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Comstock’s covers the region around California’s capital, Sacramento. Read the story.

The ‘unfolding global disaster’ of soil loss, how to reverse it and how that can help reverse climate change, too

CFAES scientist Rattan Lal, an Ohio State Distinguished University Professor and a world expert on soil management and carbon sequestration, was quoted in a recent ThinkProgress story by Natasha Geiling called “The ‘Unfolding Global Disaster’ Happening Right Under Our Feet,” about how soil loss is hurting both food production and the climate. Check it out. The quote in fact came from a previous story Geiling wrote for ThinkProgress called “Is 2015 The Year Soil Becomes Climate Change’s Hottest Topic?” That one’s here. The answer seemingly was yes, and hopefully will still be yes going forward, based on such stories as this, this and this. Lal explains carbon sequestration’s big benefits in a video here.

‘Soil restoration is our ally’ in fight against climate change

“As the climate talks in Paris draw to a close, climate activists have taken note: Soil restoration is our ally in the fight against global warming.” So wrote Seth Itzkan and Karl Thidemann, co-founders of an effort called Soil4Climate, in “Dispatch From COP21: The Convenient Truth About Soil,” a Dec. 11 essay on a web page by WBUR, Boston’s NPR station. Read it here. CFAES scientist Rattan Lal, a world expert on soil restoration, carbon sequestration and climate change, is mentioned in the essay. He explains what carbon sequestration is in a video featured in a post last week.

Watch: At least 2 big benefits of more carbon in the soil

What is carbon sequestration? And how can it fight climate change and help farmers grow more food? In the video above, shot at May’s Save Our Soils seminar in Sweden and posted by The Organic Stream, CFAES’s Rattan Lal, a world expert on such matters, explains. Why it matters: At this week’s U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris, world leaders for the first time have “made the capture of carbon in soil a formal part of the global response to the climate crisis,” said an NPR blog post. Lal heads CFAES’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, which is mentioned in the post.