The 11,000 members of three scientific societies with its roots in agriculture have been closely watching the reports coming out of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
It is the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report released on April 6, "Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis" that points to the direct consequences of climate change. Leading scientists from all over the world contributed to the latest installment of this report that attributes ecosystem changes to human-induced global warming. Following the release of the report, the presidents of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) issued this statement today:
"The Climate Change report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscores the need to drastically improve the way we manage our agricultural resources. While the impacts of climate change will be positive in some areas of the world, such as those gaining longer growing seasons and those with sufficient water resources, other areas will be adversely impacted, and it is these areas that will need improved soil and water management practices. Society member scientists are poised to conduct further research into how we can effectively manage plant, soil, and water resources and how we can adapt our current knowledge and research to reduce these negative impacts."
The three scientific society presidents are:
ASA President Dr. Jerry Hatfield, Ames, IA
CSSA President Dr. Henry L. Shands, Fort Collins, CO
SSSA President Dr. Rattan Lal, Columbus, OH
The Societies applaud the work of the IPCC and the more than 2,500 scientific expert reviewers from more than 130 countries who have spent six years working on the report, which was unveiled at a meeting in Brussels, Belgium last Friday. Several member scientists of ASA-CSSA-SSSA contributed to the report.
Jerry Hatfield, Ames, IA, is President of the American Society of Agronomy.
The second chapter of the IPCC's 4th Assessment takes a comprehensive assessment of the current scientific knowledge of the natural vs. human drivers of climate change, the ability of science to attribute changes to different causes, and projections for future climate change. A 23-page summary is available at: www.ipcc.ch.