11. The Role of Soils and Biogeochemistry in the Climate and Earth System

  1. Thomas J. Sauer2,
  2. John M. Norman3 and
  3. Mannava V. K. Sivakumar4
  1. Elisabeth A. Holland

Published Online: 7 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470960257.ch11

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

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

How to Cite

Holland, E. A. (2011) The Role of Soils and Biogeochemistry in the Climate and Earth System, in Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics (eds T. J. Sauer, J. M. Norman and M. V. K. Sivakumar), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470960257.ch11

Editor Information

  1. 2

    US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA

  3. 4

    Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Author Information

  1. Atmospheric Chemistry Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, Colorado, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 JUL 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470958575

Online ISBN: 9780470960257

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Keywords:

  • soil role, and biogeochemistry - in climate and Earth system;
  • soils, crucial role - in biogeochemical cycles;
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - soil productivity role and climate change;
  • climate system models - cornerstone of IPCC forecasts;
  • climate change detection - and different lines of evidence;
  • IPCC 2007 summary radiative forcing figure (SPM.2) - global nitrogen cycle changes;
  • modeled carbon pools and flux comparison - Amazonian observations;
  • reactive nitrogen - role in human and ecosystem health;
  • Earth System Models and the future;
  • soils, processes and feedbacks - global scale Earth system, critical challenge

Summary

Soils play a central role throughout the climate system, through regulating the atmospheric abundance of key trace gases including, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide exchange, tropospheric and stratospheric ozone and some halogens, i.e. methyl bromide and methyl flouride. The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded “warming is unequivocal” based on many lines of observational evidence. Humans are forcing the climate system in a new way with the release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have not been this high in more than a half a million years. The AR4 was the first Earth System IPCC report because of the inclusion of a fully interactive carbon cycle and was the first Working Group 1 report to address the changing global nitrogen cycle. Soils and their sustained productivity remain a critical ethical discussion for the future of Earth System modeling and for the future of life on our Earth.