soil moisture

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Old Rocks, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-10/osu-lt100110.php

    Public release date: 10-Oct-2010
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    Contact: Beverly Law
    bev.law@oregonstate.edu
    541-737-6111
    Oregon State University

    Land 'evapotranspiration' taking unexpected turn: huge parts of world are drying up
    CORVALLIS, Ore. – The soils in large areas of the Southern Hemisphere, including major portions of Australia, Africa and South America, have been drying up in the past decade, a group of researchers conclude in the first major study to ever examine "evapotranspiration" on a global basis.

    Most climate models have suggested that evapotranspiration, which is the movement of water from the land to the atmosphere, would increase with global warming. The new research, published online this week in the journal Nature, found that's exactly what was happening from 1982 to the late 1990s.

    But in 1998, this significant increase in evapotranspiration – which had been seven millimeters per year – slowed dramatically or stopped. In large portions of the world, soils are now becoming drier than they used to be, releasing less water and offsetting some moisture increases elsewhere.

    Due to the limited number of decades for which data are available, scientists say they can't be sure whether this is a natural variability or part of a longer-lasting global change. But one possibility is that on a global level, a limit to the acceleration of the hydrological cycle on land has already been reached.

    If that's the case, the consequences could be serious.

    .....................................................................................................................

    ###

    This study was authored by a large group of international scientists, including from OSU; lead author Martin Jung from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany; and researchers from the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Switzerland, Princeton University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, Harvard University, and other groups and agencies.

    The regional networks, such as AmeriFlux, CarboEurope, and the FLUXNET synthesis effort, have been supported by numerous funding agencies around the world, including the Department of Energy, NASA, National Science Foundation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States.


    Editor's Note: The study citation is: Jung, M., M. Reichstein, P. Ciais, S.I. Seneviratne, J. Sheffield, M.L. Goulden, G. Bonan, A. Cescatti, J. Chen, R. de Jeu, A.J. Dolman, W. Eugster, D. Gerten, D. Gianelle, N. Gobron, J. Heinke, J. Kimball, B.E. Law, L. Montagnani, Q. Mu, B. Mueller, K. Oleson, D. Papale, A.D. Richardson, O. Roupsard, S.W. Running, E. Tomelleri, N. Viovy, U. Weber, C. Williams, E. Wood, S. Zaehle, K. Zhang. 2010. A recent decline in the global land evapotranspiration trend due to limited moisture supply. Nature xxxx: xxx-xxx. DOI 10.1038/nature09396.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  2. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Global warming is going to cause massive changes in the world, no question.

    What happened in Russia this summer may be just a small example.
     
  3. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    Crops don't need soil moisture, and haven't needed it for quite some time. They absorb moisture from the air. The ground is so polluted from agri-chemicals that it is sterile and merely serves as a physical support mechanism for roots. It's no longer referred to as agriculture, but terra- culture.

    You know- like aqua-culture only without the water?
     
  4. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    ??????:cuckoo:
     
  5. Mr. H.
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    I put that very same concept to a friend of mine whose family has been farming for three generations now. He said "yeah that's about right".

    I work side by side with agriculture. I have dug their dirt and have examined the turned soil. I have yet to see a single worm or any other form of life. It's dead loam.

    Get your knees dirty, O.R. Get down and dirty, bitch. :D
     
  6. Old Rocks
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    Well, I have not examined the farms of the Mid-west and East that closely. If the farmers have used the chemicals to the degree that they have killed the soil, then they have destroyed their primary resource. A real golden goose situation.

    The agriculture with which I am most familiar is that of the ranchs in Eastern Oregon. The areas there are irrigated, alfalfa, and their gardens, have a huge worm population, which I have slightly depleted, on occasion, for fishing.

    I do remember an area that I saw driving between Philadelphia and Gettysburg, in the Amish country, that was incredibly lush looking. I would assume the soil is still in good shape there.
     

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