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.

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.)

Rising seas threaten Bangladeshi farmers

Rising seas caused by climate change are making soils salty, and that could force about 200,000 coastal farmers in Bangladesh inland as glaciers continue to melt into the world’s oceans. So says a recent study co-led by CFAES scientist Joyce Chen (pictured), as reported by Ohio State science writer Misti Crane. Read the story.

‘Exceptional achievements’ on behalf of soils

CFAES scientist Rattan Lal, pictured, who studies the ability of soil to address such global issues as climate change, food security and water quality, has received the 2018 World Agriculture Prize from the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA).

The award honors Lal’s “exceptional and significant lifetime achievements” in the agricultural and life sciences, GCHERA officials said. It was presented Oct. 28 in a ceremony at China’s Nanjing Agricultural University.

Lal is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. He is the director of CFAES’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, is an adjunct professor with the University of Iceland, and is the president of the Vienna-based 60,000-member International Union of Soil Sciences.

Read the full story. (Photo: John Rice, CFAES.)

Resilient communities in a changing climate?

Aaron Wilson, atmospheric scientist with CFAES’s OSU Extension outreach arm and Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, and Jiyoung Lee, associate professor with CFAES’s Department of Food Science and Technology and Ohio State’s College of Public Health, will be among the dozen-plus speakers at Building Resilient Communities in a Changing Climate, a daylong educational forum on May 18 on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. Admission is free and open to the public, includes lunch, but you have to register by May 14.

Get details and a link to register. (Photo: iStock.)

Soil loss: Tackling the ‘quiet crisis’

At the west end of Ohio State’s Columbus campus, within eyeshot of Ohio Stadium and the Columbus city skyline, passed by thousands of commuters daily, lies a soil study site about the size of a basketball court that could help change the planet, or at least about 4 billion acres of it.

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