Utilities - Various > Calendrar 2008
Calendrar 2008 - "Northern Circumpolar Soil"Get the Whole Calendar (9 MB)
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|Responsible: Arwyn Jones||Soil is one of the fundamental components for
supporting life on the planet. Plants and crops are dependent on soil for the
supply of water, nutrients and as a medium
for growing. Soil stores, filters, buffers and transforms substances
that are introduced into the environment.
This capability is crucial in producing
and protecting water supplies and for regulating
greenhouse gases. Soil is a provider of raw materials. Soil is also an incredible habitat and gene
pool: in excess of 5 tonnes of live organisms
can exist in a hectare of arable soil. Soil is a fundamental component of our landscape
and cultural heritage.
The International Polar Year is a scientific programme that is focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic from March 2007 to March 2009 (two years are needed to cover all seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres!). The polar regions are sensitive barometers of climate change, presently warming faster than any other region on the Earth. Rising temperature is particularly evident by the widespread shrinking of snow and ice that was previously regarded as stable. In addition, the polar regions have a profound influence on the global environment, in particularly, on the oceanic and atmospheric circulation systems. Being sensitive to environmental changes, soil in northern regions is projected to undergo substantial modification as a result of global warming. In addition to altering the general characteristics of soil, a marked rise in temperatures in the Arctic regions would potentially lead to the release of significant quantities of greenhouse gases from decomposing organic matter, currently trapped in frozen soil.
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© European Communities, 1995-
| European Commission - Joint
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Marc Van Liedekerke(tel. +39-0332-785179)
Panos Panagos (tel. +39-0332-785574)