Riccardo Valentini graduated at University of Rome “La Sapienza” in Physics. In 1987 he became researcher at the University of Tuscia, Faculty of Agriculture continuing to work on plant – climate interactions. He was one of the pioneer of terrestrial carbon research working in several ecosystems placed in North and South America, Europe, Australia, China, Japan, Africa in different biomes including forests, crops, grasslands, savannahs, wetlands etc. He was member of the scientific committee of the Global Carbon Project, chairman of the UN program GTOS (Global Terrestrial Observation System). He awarded the ERC (European Research Council) Senior Advanced Grant concerning the role of African tropical forests in the global greenhouse gas balance. He was coordinating lead author in the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 3rd and 5th report on Climate Impacts and Adaptation. He is currently leading the Smart Urban Nature Lab at the RUDN University in Moscow under the Russian Scientific Foundation Project grant # 19-77-300-12”. He has created and patent a new sensor for Tree health monitoring (TreeTalker) which is used now in more than 2000 trees in several world locations (Italy, Spain, Russia, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, UK, South Korea, China).
Recent awards include : Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International award 2004 for the paper “Environmental controls over carbon dioxide and water vapour exchange of terrestrial vegetation”, Zayed International Prize for the Environment as member of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board, Laurea Honoris Causa Facultè Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux, Belgium, 2007 Nobel Price for Peace as member of the IPCC board, Award of Thomson Reuters recognizing the 1% of the most cited scientist in the world, Ernst Heckel Prize of the Federation of European Ecological Societies, Laurea Honoris Causa Russian State Agricultural University – Timiryazev Academy, Moscow, Russia. National Geographic Explorer Award. He has been recognized in 2016, 2017 and 2018 by Thomson Reuters highly cited researcher. Prof. Valentini published more than 200 papers in international peer-review journals, with 19914 citations and an H factor of 70.
Climate change and the challenges of a rapid ecological transitions of Mediterranean agriculture.
Prof. Riccardo Valentini
University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
The increasing population, food consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are pushing our Planet through a transformation never experienced before. By 2050 more than 9 billion of people will be in search of food and most of them (80%) will be living in Mega-Cities. The food supply chain has to be completely reinvented since new urban poors will be exposed to food scarcity and accessibility. At the same time in some regions of the world (i.e. tropics and part of temperate regions) increasing of climate extremes will produce adverse affects on agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors with yield reduction of 35% in African countries and 2% globally per decade, despite the increasing food demand. It is time to act urgent and fast pushing high level governmental agenda (SDGs, Climate Paris agreement) as well as food industry sector and citizens in the most difficult and challenging transformation of our society to feed the new 2 billion of people expected by 2050 and at same time stabilize climate below 2.0° (possibly 1.5°) and reducing the pressures on natural resources. Agriculture should become an important element of climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. Carbon stored in agriculture soil is an important value which should be reflected in monetary and non-monetary values. Protection and conservation of carbon stocks is more important than carbon emissions. On the other hand, Mediterranean is at the center of an unprecedented climate change. Currently, the average terrestrial temperature of the region has exceeded 1.5 ° C, intensifying on one hand extremes of summer heat and drought and the other increasing the temperature of the Mediterranean Sea and the dynamics of extra-tropical cyclones, including early frost events and excess of hydrological extremes. In this context, the climatic scenarios foresee already in 2030, the exceeding of the 2 ° C threshold in the Mediterranean and therefore an intensification of the climatic risks. How the Mediterranean food system from farm to fork will adapt to the new scenarios? What systemic and/or technological solutions should we put in place to increase our resilience? What the role of innovation and science in this transition?
These questions will be analyzed and links with the current European Agricultural policies will be highlighted.