Dr. Csilla Farkas
Senior Research Scientist, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)
Csilla Farkas is a senior researcher at the Division of Environment and Natural Resources of the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). She holds MSc in Hydrology from the Russian State Hydrometeorological University, and a PhD in Earth Sciences from the Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary. She started her scientific carrier (1993) and completed her Bolyai János postdoctoral research fellowship (2008) at the Institute for Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, studying and modelling the spatio-temporal variability of soil hydraulic properties. She has more than 20 years experience in fields of soil physics, soil hydrology and catchment hydrology focusing on mathematical modelling of transport processes within the unsaturated and saturated media and the landscape. Participated in several national and international projects, including EU, EEA-Norway Grant and bilateral cooperation projects with Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic Currently she is performing the NIBIO modelling and scenario analyses tasks in the Biowater (Nordic Center of Excellence, Nordic Bioeconomy Program) project, focusing on the evaluation of the effects on land use, water management and climate change on soil conditions, runoff, soil erosion and nutrient loads. Author of about 85 book chapters and scientific articles.
Soil moisture and its importance in the water cycle
Soil moisture is an important but often undervalued element of the water cycle. Compared to other components, the volume of soil moisture is small; nonetheless, it is of fundamental importance to many hydrological, biological and biogeochemical processes. Through processes like evaporation and plant transpiration, soil moisture is a key variable in controlling the water and energy exchange between the land surface and the atmosphere, hence, it plays an important role in the development of weather patterns and the precipitation formation. It also strongly effects surface and subsurface runoff, soil erosion, food production, greenhouse gas emission, the buffer capacity of the soil, the soil biota and many other processes and sectors. It is deducable today that short-sighted mismanagement of soil or soil water strongly contributed to the collapse of large, powerful historic civilazations.
Soil degradation is a global problem that is of strong concern for European countries as well. Yet, while much focus is given to open surface water recources - the EU Water Framework Directive is in place since 2000 - the Soil Framework Directive is still to be adopted. It is important to improve the global understanding of the importance of soil as a natural resource, and its hydraulic functioning, including its global change context. The presentation aims at taking a deeper insight into the “butterfly effect” of soil status and moisture dynamics by highlighting how small-scale management decisions and processes might influences large-scale processes and our life.