In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout the year to educate the public about the importance of soil. November’s theme is “Soils and Climate”. In SSSA’s November 13 Soils Matter blog post, experts explain the role of soils in reducing the effects of climate change.

According to SSSA’s November monthly leader, Eric Brevik, “Soil can help with climate change by storing carbon through a process called ‘carbon sequestration.’ However, the amount of carbon soil can store depends on choices made by farmers and other landowners.” Brevik is a professor at Dickinson State University.

Soil organic matter – think decomposed leaves, crop residues, etc. – is made of carbon. And, it’s not just farmers who can make an impact on climate change.

“Homeowners and landowners also have a role to play in keeping soil healthy. If you have a home garden, you, too, can practice no-till. Rotate your crops from year to year. If you have a lawn, use chemicals sparingly—if at all. And, consider planting a rain garden or other natural area on your land. Rain gardens capture water from rainfall and snowmelt, and allow the soil to clean the water naturally.”

To read the entire blog post, visit http://soilsmatter.wordpress.com.

As part of their celebration of IYS, SSSA is developing a series of twelve 2-minute educational videos. November’s “Soils and Climate” video can be viewed at www.soils.org/iys/monthly-videos. Educational materials can be viewed at www.soils.org/iys.