Victorian Climate Action Calendar: 22 Feb to 19 April 2015

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This update of the Victorian Climate Action Calendar covers events from 22 February to 19 April

   can be downloaded here and from vcac.org.au/calendar

    A number items of interest are featured below.

    Regards,

    Monique



  • HEALTHY SOILS FOR A HEALTHY LIFE
  • SOIL IS A NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCE – info sheets
  • BBC RADIO: INSIDE SCIENCE – SOIL BEHAVIOUR
  • WHAT IS SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION?
  • SOIL CARBON MONITORING IN TANZANIA – youtube video




– 2015 IS THE UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SOILS – 

HEALTHY SOILS FOR A HEALTHY LIFE 

Soil is a non renewable resource, and it determines much of our existence. Soil, apart from feeding us and sustaining us, also has a crucial regulatory role in our climate. The United Nations has declared 2015 The International Year of Soils It aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security, essential ecosystem functions and in addressing climate change.

 

SOIL IS A NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCE

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Soil preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future

Soil is a core component of land resources, agricultural development and ecological sustainability, it is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production and for many critical ecosystem services. It is therefore a highly valuable natural resource, yet it is often overlooked. The natural area of productive soils is limited – it is under increasing pressure of intensification and competing uses for cropping, forestry, pasture and urbanization, and to satisfy demands of the growing population for food and energy production and raw materials extraction. Soils need to be recognized and valued for their productive capacities as well as their contribution to food security and the maintenance of key ecosystem services. Read further.


BBC RADIO INSIDE SCIENCE ON SOIL BEHAVIOUR

New research seeking to further our understanding of soil behaviour.

Adam Rutherford interviews a number of people.including Richard Bardgett, Professor of Ecology Manchester University who says: “…The soil covers pretty much all of the earth’s surface, and we need the soil for our foods……the soil is critical for climate change, the soil is the third largest global store of carbon and there is something like almost two to three times as much carbon contained in the soil as there is in the within the atmosphere. So it is an incredibly important carbon store affecting the whole global circulation of carbon which is critically important for climate change…”

Soils acts as storage for carbon, especially when it is frozen but as the world gets warmer the permafrost melts as a runaway effect of climate change. With global warming the permafrost and the tundra defrost, releasing megatons more carbon…..

Further into the program, Professor Ian Hartley, Exeter University, says that “perhaps there is three times as much carbon in permafrost as we previously thought… That carbon has been present in these soils for thousands of years.  However, tundra ecosystems are no longer absorbing carbon, they are actually releasing it. They are releasing it when they are starting to decompose when the permafrost thaws as it responds to climate change”. Listen to the program(30mins)



WHAT IS SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide can be lowered by reducing emissions or by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing in  terrestrial, oceanic, or freshwater aquatic ecosystems. A sink is defined as a process or an activity that removes greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. The long-term conversion of grassland and forestland to crop and grazing lands has resulted in losses of soil carbon worldwide but there is a major potential for increasing soil carbon through restoration of degraded soils and widespread adoption of soil conservation practices. ……land-use conversion and soil cultivation are still responsible for about one-third of GHG emissions…. However, improved agricultural practices can help mitigate climate change by reducing emissions from agriculture and other sources and by storing carbon in plant biomass and soils. » Read the full article



SOIL CARBON MONITORING IN TANZANIA

 



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