Increasing 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.”
Almost all of America’s forests, not just those in the West, are vulnerable to increased drought and climate change, according to a study that appeared last month in the journal Global Change Biology. The new study “brings together many different perspectives on drought impact in forests,” says CFAES’s Stephen Matthews, one of the co-authors, “and it is through this effort that the great reach drought can have on forests is clear.” Read more. (Photo: Ookawaphoto, iStock.)
“We should make agriculture part of the solution to our issues,” said CFAES’s Rattan Lal in a recent article in Discovery News. “The climate change problem is so huge everything should be on the table.” Lal is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. The article looked at whether so-called “resurrection plants” can help farming adapt to climate change and drought.
Ohio State’s Environmental Film Series continues tonight with “Dry Season” from the Showtime series “Years of Living Dangerously.” Among the episode’s onscreen correspondents are actors Don Cheadle and Harrison Ford. In person, Greg Hitzhusen of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources and Bryan Mark of Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center will lead the discussion afterward. (A previous post listed them wrongly as last week’s facilitators.) Free admission. Everyone’s welcome. Details here and here. (Photo: Showtime.)
Ohio State President Gordon Gee released comments today on the drought.
OSU Extension is providing farmers, gardeners, and other Ohioans with science-based details on managing the drought.
There’s nothing sustainable, of course, about drought-killed plants. Here’s a fact sheet from OSU Extension, the outreach arm of our college, on how to improve drought resistance in your home landscape, including 124 recommended trees, shrubs, and perennials. Much of Ohio is experiencing moderate or severe drought conditions.