Soil is the key to a range of challenges facing humans from finding clay for cricket pitches to global warming.
In his keynote presentation the soils conference, George Rayment highlighted problems such as the importance of finding suitable clay for cricket pitches to ensure they enable the ball to bounce the right way, how nutrient rich sediment losses are threatening parts of the Great Barrier Reef, and the increasing risks of exposure of acid sulphate soils during urban development. Salinity, soil acidification and excessive nutrient loads in some agricultural soils also pose serious problems for soil scientists and others in the community.
Increasingly, soils are expected to hold the solutions to serious issues such as global warming though their potential to sequester carbon and produce healthy food grown in uncontaminated soil. Therefore, there is a serious need for the soil science community to engage in research and community decision-making on these and other important topics.
Rayment G (2006) Keynote Presentation at the Combined National Conference on Soils, Adelaide, Dec 2006.