In Chap. 2 , the role played by the factors of soil formation in Italy is examined bydifferent authors. Edoardo Costantini, Maria Fantappie´ , and Giovanni L’Abate explorethe potential strong influence of climate on soil nature and distribution. In spite of beingplaced in the middle of the temperate zone of the boreal hemisphere, the elongated shape ofthe Italian peninsula, stretching along 11 parallels in the middle of the Mediterranean sea,and the presence of two morphological barriers, the Alps and the Apennines, cause greatlocal climatic variations, to an extent that they are much more important than means. Infact, long-term mean annual air temperature for the whole country is 12.6 C and totalannual precipitation 932.5 mm, but the differences between minima and maxima span 30 C and 1,800 mm, respectively. Actually, in Italy there are 14 of the 35 climatic regionsoccurring in Europe. A general climatic change occurred in Italy in the period 1961–2000,with a general reduction of the mean annual precipitations, thenumber of rainy days, and ageneral increase of the mean air temperatures. The climate change had some influence onsoil organic carbon variations, especially in the meadows and arable lands located in areaswhere a moderate or high decrease of the mean total annual precipitation value (\-100mm) and a moderate to high increase of mean air temperature ([0.62 C) occurred.
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