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Cross-cutting and connecting panel (CROSS-connect)

Mission statement CROSS-connect

CROSS-connect identifies soil related knowledge gaps between  science communities, and shares this knowledge with other ISMC science panels to push forward development of new tools.

CROSS-connect provides to other science communities tools/support/expertise/knowledge to better translate soil processes into functions for assessing sustainability and ecosystem services.

The panel will also develop an exchange platform with other international panels like AgMip/MACSUR, GEWEX, ISCN (international soil carbon network), GSBI (Global Soil Biodiversity initiative).


CROSS-Connect will achieve its mission by:
  1. Exchanging information with other international panels such as the AgMip/MACSUR, GEWEX SoilWat, GLP, and Ecosystem Service Partnership, and other modelling communities.
  2. Establishing the conceptual basis needed to promote exchange with other disciplines: climate research/ hydrology/biology/plant physiology/agriculture/socio-economic sciences/geology/other. CROSS-Connect realizes that, to develop exchange protocols, we need to define a common vocabulary between scientific (sub)disciplines.
  3. Establishing links between the physical and biological sciences on the one hand, and the socio-economic sciences on the other hand.
  4. Advertising the existence and value of ISMC -CROSS-Connect at international meetings.
  5. Publishing papers in relevant journals to stress the importance of soil modelling for tackling key issues/questions.
  6. Setting-up inter-disciplinary working teams to develop grant proposals, such as for Horizon2020.
In the short-term, the Cross-Connect panel will:
  1. Define ISMC mission and opportunities in relevant scientific outlets (journals) of interest to the climate modeling community. Specifically, proposing a mechanistic integrative model of soil processes at resolutions relevant to both communities. Alternatively: this is a good strategy for the future but not really easy to achieve at the beginning due to computational constrains. Even if the land-atmosphere modelling community (climatologists) claim to use state-of-the-art soil physical submodules (based on Richards equation) I am not sure if these submodules are implemented the way as we (soil physics) would do. Therefore, the first step would be to my opinion to benchmark these submodules against analytical solutions. The same would hold for the crop models which still use in most cases bucket or modified bucket models. By the benchmark we could nicely show the lack of understanding (or implementation) of soil physical processes and routines in their models. This would be also a fairly easy task and we can start nearly immediately
  2. Develop the idea of a Global Soil Footprint (similar to the idea of a global water footprint). This can be derived from the idea that (costs for) global food exports depend on local soils. While soil threats are often seen as localized problems, they are in fact expressions of the global demand for resources. There are links to the water footprint where aspects linked to soils are usually hard to quantify. CROSS-Connect will develop better methodologies (easy to use but relevant) to assess impacts on soils. This paper also has a clear link with socio-economic scientists.
  3. Formulate a skeleton program for an EGU session and run an inter-disciplinary session at the EGU or AGU conferences. We will also organize a Leonardo Conference. This action would also make sense for other conferences addressing other scientific communities, e.g. GLP conference, Ecosummit, ecosystem service conferences, MACSUR/AGMIP conference
  4. Couple ISMC activities with already existing activities in crop modelling (MACSUR / AgMip) and the climate modelling CIMIP6 program.
  5. Define common vocabulary in collaboration with the other two ISMC panels.
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