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Climatic Change

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 683–709 | Cite as

Climate Change and Agricultural Soils: Impacts and Adaptation

  • M.D.A. Rounsevell
  • S.P. Evans
  • P. Bullock
Article

Abstract

This article reviews the current state of knowledge on the response of soils to climate change, and the implications such changes have for agriculture. The article is based on the material reported in the IPCC second assessment report (Watson et al., 1996) and updated with more recent information, where appropriate. The review highlights the importance of understanding the dynamics of soil processes when addressing climate change impacts on agriculture. Rapid soil responses to climate change (e.g. soil water, organic carbon and erodibility) have been widely investigated and reported in the literature. However, it is important that longer-term processes (e.g. pedogenesis) are not ignored by the research community because these have potentially important implications for long-term agricultural land use and are often irreversible. The use of good land management practices, as currently understood, provides the best strategy for adaptation to the impact of climate change on soils. However, it appears likely that farmers will need to carefully reconsider their management options, and land use change is likely to result from different crop selections that are more appropriate to the changing conditions. Perhaps the greatest impact of climate change on soils will arise from climate-induced changes in land use and management.

Keywords

Climate Change Soil Water Agricultural Land Agricultural Soil Land Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.D.A. Rounsevell
    • 1
  • S.P. Evans
    • 1
  • P. Bullock
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil Survey and Land Research Centre, School of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentCranfield University, SilsoeBedfordUK

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