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Global prospects rooted in soil science

Janzen, H., Fixen, P.E., Franzluebbers, A.J., Hattey, J., Izaurralde, R.C., Ketterings, Q.M., Lobb, D.A., Schlesinger, W.H. (2011). Global prospects rooted in soil science, 75(1), 1-8.


The biosphere, our fragile and exquisite home, is changing abruptly and irrevocably, largely from human interference. Most or all of the coming stresses have links to the land, so finding hopeful outcomes depend on wide and deep understanding of soils. In this review, we pose eight urgent issues confronting humanity in coming decades: demands for food, water, nutrients, and energy; and challenges of climate change, biodiversity, "waste" reuse, and global equity. We then suggest some steps soil scientists might take to address these questions: a refocusing of research, a broadening of vision, a renewed enticement of emerging scientists, and more lucid telling of past successes and future prospects. The questions posed and responses posited are incomplete and not yet fully refined. But the conversations they elicit may help direct soil science toward greater relevance in preserving our fragile home on this changing planet. © Soil Science Society of America, 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison WI 53711 USA All rights reserved.

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