Energy and Earth Science Environmental Studies

Will soil die ?

Soil…the inevitable substance in our every day is a companion & the magical element in earth which supports our life. Soil is not just only a natural factor but also a treasure of amazing natural acts. Soil is the thin layer of material covering the earth’s surface and is formed from the weathering of rocks. It is made up mainly of mineral particles, organic materials, air, water and living organisms—all of which interact slowly yet constantly.

We know that soil is the life of plants. They get their nutrients from the soil and they are the main source of food for humans, animals and birds. Therefore, most living things on land depend on soil for their existence.Soil functions as a major component of the Earth’s ecosystem. The world’s ecosystems are impacted in far-reaching ways by the processes carried out in the soil, with effects ranging from ozone depletion and global warming to rainforest destruction and water pollution.

With respect to Earth’s carbon cycle, soil acts as an important carbon reservoir, and it is potentially one of the most reactive to human disturbance and climate change. As the planet warms, it has been predicted that soils will add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere due to increased biological activity at higher temperatures, a positive feedback (amplification). This prediction has, however, been questioned on consideration of more recent knowledge on soil carbon turnover.

Soil acts as an engineering medium, a habitat for soil organisms, a recycling system for nutrients and organic wastes, a regulator of water quality, a modifier of atmospheric composition, and a medium for plant growth, making it a critically important provider of ecosystem services. Since soil has a tremendous range of available niches and habitats, it contains most of the Earth’s genetic diversity. A gram of soil can contain billions of organisms, belonging to thousands of species, mostly microbial and largely still unexplored.

Important facts in glance

500 Minimum years it takes to form one inch of topsoil

In united states there is 70,000 different types of soil.

1 Tablespoon of soil has more organisms in it than there are people on earth

1,400,000 Earthworms that can be found in an acre of cropland

20,000 Pounds of total living matter in the top six inches of an acre of soil

10 Percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions stored in soil

4,000 Gallons of water soil needs to produce one bushel of corn

11,000 Gallons of water soil needs to produce one bushel of wheat

5,000 Different types of bacteria in one gram of soil

.01 Percent of the earth’s water held in soil

15 Tons of dry soil per acre that pass through one earthworm each year

Interesting facts In-Depth

CO2 Rich

Soil is an important carbon sink storing 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide – more than all terrestrial vegetation and the atmosphere combined. When soil is disturbed, or tilled, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere where it is a major contributor to global warming.

2 cm topsoil need 500 years !!!!

It can take more than 500 years to form two centimeters of topsoil – the outermost layer of soil which has a high concentration of nutrients and is crucial for crop growth. Avoiding soil disruption helps keep this top layer healthy and productive.

Catalyst of biodiversity

For many creatures, soil is either their home or their food’s home. It is home to millions of plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. Soil supports the various biomes that create and sustain the incredible biodiversity on Earth.

Soil reduces pollution

Healthy soils reduce the flow of sediment into rivers. By filtering water for lakes and other bodies of water, soil plays a huge role in reducing the amount of polluted runoff that enters our waterways.

No soil no life

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that without healthy soils, “life on Earth would be unsustainable.” Most plants need good soil to grow in, and all humans need plants to provide them with sustenance. Thus, soil is necessary to sustain human life on Earth.

Helps ozone layer

Soil plays a huge part in the carbon cycle and is an active carbon sink. The fact that carbon can be absorbed by the ground takes the burden off of our atmosphere and offsets some of the damage that occurs when carbon emissions are released into our ozone layer.

Kept apt temperature

Soil temperature is an important factor in many processes, such as germination, supporting life forms that dwell underground, and other chemical reactions and biological processes.

Good soil makes our air easier to breathe

In very dry regions, dust storms are common and blow in soils from various areas. The dirt from these storms are easily inhaled and can cause respiratory problems, especially if the soil particles contain fungi or bacteria. A well-covered soil (i.e., using new tilling methods or planting cover crops) helps prevent erosion and can reduce the likelihood of dust storms.

Is soil alive ?

Is soil alive ? It is one of a complex question arising in your mind right now.Yes there is answer.  The job of the organisms is to keep the soil healthy. carbon and mineral matter in the soil, and painting with soil. Soil is a living thing – it is very slowly moving, changing and growing all the time. Just like other living things, soil breathes and needs air and water to stay alive.

Soil :  biotic or abiotic ?

Soil is composed of both biotic—living and once-living things, like plants and insects—and abiotic materials—nonliving factors, like minerals, water, and air. Soil contains air, water, and minerals as well as plant and animal matter, both living and dead.

Will soil die ?

We know soil is alive, then soil can also die. And we humans have been killing a lot of soil. The short-term gains of conventional agricultural practices—like excessive tilling and application of chemical pesticides and fertilizers—eventually give way to reveal the long-term damage they do to soil ecosystems. Perhaps the most infamous example of this is the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when poor land management led to the degradation of 100 million acres of once-fertile grasslands, and the displacement of more than a half a million people. Years of extensive deep ploughing and replacing deep-rooted native prairie grasses with cash crops killed the living networks that had kept the soil moist and held it in place.

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