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Prof. Dr. Wulf Amelung – Ways out of the Global Soil Crisis

April 23 @ 11:00

This semester, we are excited to announce that the seminar series will be hosted by our collaborative partner ECMWF at their buildings in Bonn and it will be streamed online (via zoom).CESOC continues the seminar series “My Research” this Summer term 2024 with
Prof. Dr. Wulf Amelung
from the Institute of Crop Sciences and Resource Conservation (INRES) at the University of Bonn, talking on their work
“Ways out of the Global Soil Crisis”
when: on Tuesday, 23 April 2024 at 11:00 am (CEST)
It is open to any interested person within the CESOC research disciplines (any Earth system sciences, mathematics or computer science).
Please contact info[@]cesoc.net, if you would like to participate.
Full Schedule could be found here!
Almost a third of our soils are degraded, mainly due to inappropriate land use. These soils have mostly developed over centuries to millennia. Are they now lost to us as a resource, possibly even for several generations? Or can we regenerate soils in a very short time? And to what extent do we need to take climate change into account in our measures?
The first part of the presentation will briefly explain the main mechanisms by which soils can degrade as a result of long-term arable use and how their carbon balance can be improved again after a change of use. Options will then be discussed as to how such sites could possibly be regenerated quickly for arable use and to combat climate change, and what challenges we have to face in doing so. To some extent, we can learn from the past, with sometimes astonishing results such as indigenous cultures using biochar and other organic residues to improve tropical soils. Today, however, such measures are associated with risks. For example, the direct input of biochar can lead to yield losses, and we are also observing a transfer of antibiotic resistance as a result of intensive organic fertilisation as well as increasing microplastic inputs with the application of compost. The lecture concludes with current results on how this tension between soil, climate and environmental protection can be resolved, possibly by including subsoils.
Wulf Amelung studied geoecology at the University of Bayreuth. He is head of the Department of General Soil Science and Soil Ecology at the University of Bonn and also works as Director of the Institute of Agrosphere at Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH. Wulf Amelung has received several awards for his work and is a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.


April 23
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