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Comments on Profile Post by VValleyEV

  1. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    Jul 13, 2019
    VValleyEV likes this.
  2. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    As for the specific case of topsoil as it applies to me: it was *livestock* who destroyed my topsoil, and the topsoil of almost all of the habitable land in my country. *Sheep* did this, not our barley / rhubarb / root vegetable farms. The best topsoil is in places where sheep are excluded, including farms.

    As for the question about soil sustainability in general, here's the IPCC summary on the subject:
    Jul 13, 2019
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  3. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    https://archive.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sres/land_use/index.php?idp=56

    "Soil improvement (aggradation) has taken place in many parts of the world. The World Overview of Soil Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) (Liniger et al., 1988) gives spatial information on human-induced soil and land improvements for more sustainable agricultural land use, as well as the technologies applied....
    Jul 13, 2019
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  4. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    Restoration of SOM-depleted agricultural soils to near their original level appears to be a realistic opportunity, especially when terrain conditions permit mechanization of adapted cultivation practices (see Figure 2-4; Lal et al., 1998; Paustian et al., 1998; Batjes, 1999). Improvement of agricultural soils beyond the original level of soil organic matter, as...
    Jul 13, 2019
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  5. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    a form of land and soil aggradation, may also be possible (Sombroek et al., 1993; Sandor and Eash, 1995; Bridges and de Bakker, 1997; Blume et al., 1998; Batjes, 1999; Gläser et al., 1999; McCann et al., 1999). The extra costs of such soil aggradation can become a feasible capital investment if collateral environmental and socioeconomic benefits are taken into account (e.g., control...
    Jul 13, 2019
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  6. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    of desertification; increased security of food production; more sustainable agricultural settlement)."

    Soil quality corresponds directly with how much we care about soil quality. If we want to degrade soils to minimize production costs, we can do that. If we want it to be sustained and even improved over time, we can do that, too. Like much of the world's fate, the decision is in our hands, in how we set policy.
    Jul 13, 2019
    VValleyEV likes this.
  7. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    Even without modern science and knowledge, you can see both paths being taken by ancient peoples. The Amazon, for example, has naturally poor soils, as the high rainfall levels tend to leach nutrients. Ancient farmers however created what's now known as "terra preta" by mixing in manufactured biochar (which traps nutrients) and
    Jul 13, 2019
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  8. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    compost (to add nutrients); these soils have proven so durable that they persist to this day. Ancient Hawaiian agriculture, by contrast, depleted its rich volcanic soil's mineral stocks significantly over the course of hundreds of years in the places where agriculture was practiced (https://www.pnas.org/content/103/29/11092), to pick an example.

    Human impacts on soil and plants, however,
    Jul 13, 2019
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  9. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    have nothing on past human impacts on animals (particularly large animals). Contrary to the image of past humans as benign beings who lived in harmony with nature, everywhere that humans have traveled has been followed by massive waves of extinction as humans hunt unadapted species to extinction, eat their prey, or generally disrupt their ecosystem. The quaternary extinction
    Jul 13, 2019
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  10. KarenRei
    KarenRei
    Jul 13, 2019
    VValleyEV likes this.
  11. VValleyEV
    VValleyEV
    Thanks!

    First thing I notice from that graph on p11 of the AFOLU doc is a big surprise: that agriculture-based GHC emissions are down in 2000-2009 vs previous decades, back almost to the level of 1970-79. I am guessing there are signs that 2010-2019 numbers won’t be so encouraging?
    Jul 13, 2019
  12. VValleyEV
    VValleyEV
    All great links, thanks a million. Scanned through all and squirreled them away.
    Jul 13, 2019
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