Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Get the Dirt:  What Does Climate Change Have to Do with Soil Health?

When it comes to the consequences of climate change, some have a way of seizing the headlines.

Soil organic matter (Credit: deeproot.com) Click to Enlarge.
Global temperatures increasing steadily at their fastest rates in millions of years?  Very scary.  Glaciers calving and collapsing into the sea?  Hard to miss.  The Atlantic Ocean lapping down the streets of Miami?  Front page news almost everywhere.

Others – like declining soil health – may be a little less immediately dramatic, but they can be equally impactful and even more far-reaching.  It’s not the sort of thing that inspires a telethon, but over time the toll of erosion, pollution, losses in organic matter, and other soil impacts of the climate crisis imperil a very basic human need – to eat.

The health and vitality of soil everywhere, from the smallest backyard garden to the largest Midwestern farm, plays an integral role in food production – and it’s threatened by climate change.

“I think a big problem that people have when they talk about climate change is they don’t emphasize enough the risks to food production, and I think that really shortchanges some of the arguments and the concerns down the road,” says journalist and author Chris Clayton. “The idea that you could have millions of migrants moving all over the world because they can’t eat, and the disruption and instability that creates doesn’t get enough appreciation in the world.”

Read more at Get the Dirt:  What Does Climate Change Have to Do with Soil Health?

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