Print this page Share

Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics

ISBN: 978-0-470-96023-3
272 pages
May 2011
Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics (047096023X) cover image

Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics is a multi-disciplinary volume exploring the ethical, political and social issues surrounding the stewardship of our vital soil resources. Based on topics presented by an international group of experts at a conference convened through support of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, chapters include scientific studies on carbon sequestration, ecosystem services, maintaining soil fertility, and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as ethical issues ranging from allocation of land use to policies needed for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Bringing together the latest research in soil science and climatology, Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change is a valuable resource for soil and plant scientists, agronomists and environmental scientists, as well as agricultural and natural resources engineers and economists, environmental policy makers and conservationists.

Key Features:

  • Written by an international group of authors representing a cross-section of scientists, thought leaders, and policy-makers
  • Includes chapters on the potential effects of climate change on forest soil carbon, microbial function, and the role of soils and biogeochemistry in the climate and earth system
  • Explores historical development of land use ethics and stewardship


See More

Foreword (Sally Collins).


Chapter 1 Science, Ethics, and the Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis: Was White Right? (Thomas J. Sauer and Michael P. Nelson).

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 Historical Perspective on Soil Degradation.

1.3 The New Challenge of Global Climate Change.

1.4 White.

1.5 Other Views on the Ethics of Land Use: Leopold et al.

1.6 Ethical Considerations of Strategies for Climate Change Mitigation: An Example.

1.7 Conclusions.

Chapter 2 Intellectual Inertia: An Uneasy Tension between Collective Validation of the Known and Encouraging Exploration of the Unknown (John M. Norman).

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Defining Intellectual Inertia.

2.3 Examples of Intellectual Inertia.

2.4 Intellectual Inertia is Unavoidable But Requires Vigilance.

2.5 Intellectual Inertia and Climate Change Science.

2.6 Optimizing Intellectual Inertia.

Chapter 3 The Ethics of Soil: Stewardship, Motivation, and Moral Framing (Paul B. Thompson).

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Private Property and Personal Ethics.

3.3 Common Pool Resources.

3.4 Public Policy.

3.5 Instrumental Values of Soil.

3.6 Beyond Instrumental Value.

3.7 Conclusion and Next Steps.

Chapter 4 Aldo Leopold and the Land Ethic: An Argument for Sustaining Soils (Susan L. Flader).

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 The Shaping of a Progressive.

4.3 Erosion as a Menace.

4.4 Standards of Conservation.

4.5 Conservation as a Moral Issue.

4.6 Wildlife and Soils.

4.7 The Conservation Ethic.

4.8 An Adventure in Cooperative Conservation.

4.9 Land Pathology.

4.10 Land Health.

4.11 The Land Ethic.

4.12 Epilogue.

Chapter 5 Rural Response to Climate Change in Poor Countries: Ethics, Policies, and Scientific Support Systems in Their Agricultural Environment (C. J. (Kees) Stigter).

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Ethics.

5.3 Policies.

5.4 Scientific Support Systems.

5.5 Conclusions.

Chapter 6 Soil and Human Health (Eiliv Steinnes).

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Essential Trace Elements.

6.3 Concerns for the Future.

Chapter 7 Agroecological Approaches to Help "Climate Proof " Agriculture While Raising Productivity in the Twenty-First Century (Norman Uphoff).

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Agroecological Approaches.

7.3 The System of Rice Intensification.

7.4 Effects of SRI Practices on Agriculture Affected by Climate Change.

7.5 Applications to Crops Other than Rice.

7.6 Climate-Proofing Agriculture.

Chapter 8 Ecological Integrity and Biological Integrity: The Right to Food (Laura Westra).

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Ecological Integrity and Food Production Today.

8.3 The Legal Status of Genetically Modified Organisms.

8.4 Western Diets and Lifestyle Preferences: Vegan versus Carnivore.

8.5 Conclusion.

Chapter 9 Soil Ecosystem Services: Sustaining Returns on Investment into Natural Capital (Brent E. Clothier, Alistair J. Hall, Markus Deurer, Steven R. Green, and Alec D. Mackay).

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 F. H. King—"Farmers of Forty Centuries".

9.3 Soil: Valuable Natural Capital.

9.4 Valuing Ecosystem Services.

9.5 Valuing Carbon and Soil Ecosystem Services.

9.6 Valuing Terroir.

9.7 Land-Use Policy, Nutrient Management, and Natural Capital.

9.8 Conclusion.

Chapter 10 Climate and Land Degradation (Mannava V. K. Sivakumar).

10.1 Introduction.

10.2 Influence of Land Surface Changes on Climate.

10.3 Climate Change and Land Degradation.

10.4 Climate Variability and Impacts on Land Degradation.

10.5 Technologies, Policies, and Measures to Address the Linkages between Climate and Land Degradation.

10.6 Future Perspectives.

Chapter 11 The Role of Soils and Biogeochemistry in the Climate and Earth System (Elisabeth A. Holland).

11.1 Introduction.

11.2 Lessons Learned from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

11.3 The Carbon Cycle.

11.4 The Nitrogen Cycle.

11.5 Future of Earth System Models.

Chapter 12 Net Agricultural Greenhouse Gases: Mitigation Strategies and Implications (Claudia Wagner-Riddle and Alfons Weersink).

12.1 Introduction.

12.2 Mitigation Practices for Reduction of Net GHG Emissions.

12.3 Net GHG Reduction.

12.4 Case Study 1: GHG Emission Mitigation through Composting of Liquid Swine Manure.

12.5 Case Study 2: Direct and Indirect N2O Emission Reduction through Soil Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Practices.

12.6 Designing Policies for Reduced Nitrogen Fertilizer Use.

12.7 Conclusion.

Chapter 13 Overview on Response of Global Soil Carbon Pools to Climate and Land-Use Changes (Thomas Eglin, Philippe Ciais, Shi Long Piao, Pierre Barré, Valentin Belassen, Patricia Cadule, Claire Chenu, Thomas Gasser, Markus Reichstein, and Pete Smith).

13.1 Introduction.

13.2 Global Distribution of SOC.

13.3 Global Vulnerability of SOC to Climate and Land-Use Change.

13.4 Historical Land Cover, Agricultural Management, and Climate Change Effects on SOC.

13.5 Future Changes in Climate and Land Use and the SOC Balance.

13.6 Discussion: Uncertainties and Future Directions.

13.7 Conclusions.

13.8 Methods.

Chapter 14 Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Microbial Function in Soil: The Effect of Elevated CO2 Concentration (Paolo Nannipieri).

14.1 Introduction.

14.2 Effect of CO2 Concentration on Plant C Inputs including Rhizodeposition to Soil.

14.3 Effects of Elevated CO2 Concentration on Activity, Size, and Composition of Soil Microbiota.

14.4 Effects of Elevated CO2 Concentration on Mycorrhizal Infections of Plants.

14.5 Effect of Elevated CO2 Concentration on Biotic Interactions and on the Rhizosphere Microfauna.

14.6 Effects of Increased CO2 Concentration, Global Warming, and Changes in Soil Moisture on Microbial Functions Related to C Sequestration in Soil.

14.7 Conclusions.

Chapter 15 Impacts of Climate Change on Forest Soil Carbon: Uncertainties and Lessons from Afforestation Case Studies (Philip J. Polglase and Keryn I. Paul).

15.1 Introduction.

15.2 Afforestation Overview.

15.3 Implications for Predicting Climate Change Impacts.

15.4 Modeling the Impacts of Climate Change on Soil Carbon.

15.5 Conclusion.

Chapter 16 The Effect of Forest Management on Soil Organic Carbon (Giustino Tonon, Silvia Dezi, Maurizio Ventura, and Francesca Scandellari).

16.1 Forest Ecosystems and Global Carbon Cycle.

16.2 Effect of Forest Management on Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration.

16.3 Forest Management Strategies and Forest Structures Improving Carbon Storage.

16.4 Conclusions.


See More

Thomas J. Sauer is a Research Soil Scientist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Ames, Iowa.

John M. Norman is Emeritus Professor of Soil Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mannava V. K. Sivakumar is Director of the Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch of the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

See More

“There is also a useful body of information that provides a basic summary of the state of knowledge and thought about climate change in 2009. For both aspects, it is worth adding to one’s library.”  (Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 11 July 2013)

"This is one of those rare books - a conference publication that is full of pleasant surprises ... In summary, this is a thought-provoking publication, which reinforces the notion that soils confer real biophysical limits to the expansion of the market economy." (Expl Agric, 2012)


See More
Back to Top