NASA has launched two missions to monitor the soil and atmosphere for traces of water and signs of volcanic activity. Photo: Pixabay Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication licensePhoto: Pixabay Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication license

NASA will monitor soil moisture on Earth’s surface

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Soil moisture monitoring is also among the goals of NASA's latest missions. For the U.S. Space Agency, this is a new contribution to the study and protection of soil thanks to satellite data
Interaction with plant roots impacts soil health. Photo: Philip Halling CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 GenericPhilip Halling CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Soil health is related to its interaction with roots

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In the UK, scientists and farmers are collaborating to monitor and evaluate soil-root interactions. Their goal is to increase productivity and improve soil health
In the 21st century, the share of China's grasslands subject to severe and moderate desertification fell from 52 percent to 37 percent. Photo: neverdance CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unportedneverdance CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

A new index details the decline of desertification in China

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In the 21st century, the share of China's grasslands experiencing severe and moderate desertification has dropped from 52 percent to 37 percent. This is revealed in a new survey by the Beijing Academy of Sciences
Bioplastic films can be made from Panicum virgatum, a plant that biodegrade completely within 40 days with 30% soil moisture content. Photo: SEWilco CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 UnportedSEWilco CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Here’s how U.S. native prairie grass can be turned into bioplastics

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Researchers at South Dakota State University have made biodegradable bioplastic films from switchgrass, a weed capable of reaching significant heights that is widespread in North America's grasslands
Bacteria that can convert gaseous nitrogen to ammonia provide the nutrients plants need and regenerate the soil. Photo: Oleksandr, Pexels Free to usePhoto: Oleksandr, Pexels Free to use

‘Protected’ bacteria replace chemical fertilizers

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MIT scientists have developed a coating to protect and 'package' bacteria, making them transportable from the production lab to the field. Where they become an alternative to fertilizers
The presence of antibiotic-resistant genes in microbes is particularly high in soils subjected to cultivation or farming. Photo: Pxhere CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution requiredPxhere CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution required

Analysis of soil microbes is a major tool against antibiotic resistance

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A study of soil microbes gets started in Ireland. The metagenomic survey, by the VistaMilk research center, aims to identify microorganisms that benefit the soil
Microplastics are a dangerous and widespread contributor to soil pollution. Photo: Oregon State University CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 GenericOregon State University CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Tomography helps detect microplastics in soil

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A German research team has developed a new method for detecting microplastics. The technique employs neutron beams and X-rays to generate a complete image
Biological footprints of microbes in the soil show where diamond-containing minerals are buried. Photo: Alex Walls, images available for printing.Alex Walls, images available for printing.

Soil microbe analysis can replace drilling in the mining sector

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A Canadian study shows how microbes can be reliable indicators of the presence of diamonds underground. Analyzing their DNA can prevent high-impact exploration
The NISAR satellite will enable the collection of important data on forests using a radar system. Photo: NASA Public DomainPhoto: NASA Public Domain

A radar signal from space is going to show the state of the forests

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Starting in 2024, a new space project will remotely analyze Earth's forests and soil. The initiative involves NASA and the Indian space agency ISRO
By 2022 deforestation in the Amazon had affected 10,573 square kilometers. Photo: James Martins CC BY 3.0 DEED Attribution 3.0 UnportedJames Martins CC BY 3.0 DEED Attribution 3.0 Unported

Sensors and AI fight deforestation in the Amazon

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The University of the Amazon has developed a tool to detect potential threats to the forest in the field. It recognizes noises such as chainsaws and tractors: so it can warn of dangers in real time