Climate change is one the biggest problems across the world nowadays. Among all the other effects that climate change may bring, “Food Insecurity” is one of the most important concerns to worry about. According to a recent study, climate change may reduce the ability of soils to absorb water in many parts of the world, which could have adverse effects on groundwater supplies, food production and security, storm water runoff, biodiversity and ecosystems. The findings of the Rutgers-led study were published in the journal Science Advances.
According to researchers, carbon is stored soil with the help of water. Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases associated with climate change. Therefore, changes in soil could change the level of carbon dioxide in the air in an unpredictable manner.
Co-author Daniel Giménez, a soil scientist and professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick said, “Since rainfall patterns and other environmental conditions are shifting globally as a result of climate change, our results suggest that how water interacts with soil could change appreciably in many parts of the world, and do so fairly rapidly”.
The researchers examined a 25-year experiment in Kansas that involved irrigation of prairie soil with sprinklers, and realized that a 35% increase in rainfall led to 21 – 33% reduction in water infiltration rates in soil, with only a marginal rise in water retention.
“We propose that the direction, magnitude and rate of the changes should be measured and incorporated into predictions of ecosystem responses to climate change,” Daniel Giménez concluded.