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Over the past 60 years, the average weight of harvesters has increased 10-fold with a major impact on soil ecosystem functions. Photo: Dan Davison Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)Photo: Dan Davison Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Mechanical dinosaurs are the ultimate threat to soil

The weight of harvesters averages 36 tons approaching burdens of sauropods walking on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. The resulting soil compaction is now putting both ecosystem balance and crop yields at risk
During the period under investigation, soil sealing covered almost 1,500 km2. 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

Europe has lost 3,600 km2 of soil due to land take in seven years

Between 2012 and 2018, soil loss mainly affected suburbs and semi-rural areas that play a key role in ecological balance with severe consequences for the climate, the European Environment Agency says
Quasi il 98% delle segnalazioni relative a pratiche di deforestazione illegale nell’Amazzonia brasiliana non è stato oggetto di indagine. Foto: Kate Evans/CIFOR Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Deforestation unpunished in Brazil as the government ignores almost every alert

Between 2019 and 2020, about 98 percent of reports of deforestation did not lead to formal action in Brazil, a research has found. The country's environmental policy is under fire. As Amazon destruction has reached the highest rate in 15 years
In Iowa, Midwestern U.S., erosion is generating a decline in agricultural production. Photo: Phil Roeder Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)Phil Roeder Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Erosion in U.S. worse-than-expected, new study says

Midwest fields have lost nearly 58 billion tons of soil in a150 years, University of Massachusetts survey says. Tillage effect, still ignored in government estimates, is crucial. Food production at risk
Pollution alert: There are 10 million potentially contaminated sites worldwide. Photo: Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

FAO launches its mission against global soil pollution

The UN organization presents the International Network on Soil Pollution, a project to tackle contamination and restore damaged lands. Fixing the problem - says FAO - is crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
AI-based soil analysis enables more efficient and sustainable use of fertilizer. Photo: pxhere CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution requiredPhoto: pxhere CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution required

Artificial intelligence can reduce fertilizer use, UK researchers say

Artificial intelligence allows to predict the trend of nitrogen levels in soil, avoiding fertilizer overuse and related environmental damage according to Imperial College London
Launched in 2015, the SEPAL platform hosts over 7,000 users currently engaged in anti-deforestation efforts. Photo: Crustmania Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)Photo: Crustmania Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

FAO relaunches open-source data to curb tropical deforestation

Phase 2 of SEPAL, the digital land monitoring program launched by the UN organization, is underway. The target are the tropical areas, which are the epicenter of global deforestation.
Deforestation in a nutshell. Between 2002 and 2018, the Brazilian Amazon lost more than 20 million hectares of tropical forest. Photo: Amazônia Real from Manaus AM, Brasil Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)Amazônia Real from Manaus AM, Brasil Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

FAO, NASA and Google join forces to beat deforestation through data power

FAO announces the launch of a Data Partnership to tackle deforestation. The initiative is based on geospatial information, which is being increasingly used in recent years to monitor soil and risk areas.
The sharp decline in biodiversity recorded among common birds in European farmland is a wake-up call for soil health. Photo: Pixabay License Free for commercial use Attribution not requiredPixabay License Free for commercial use Attribution not required

“Intensive agricultural practices are harming birds”. As biodiversity crisis deepens

Unsustainable land management is harming common birds in agricultural areas, according to Czech ornithologist Petr Voříšek. Their biodiversity index has plummeted in the last 40 years.
In areas of the Peruvian Amazon monitored by drones, deforestation was halved in one year. Photo (generic image): Yoly Gutierrez/CIFOR Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Yoly Gutierrez/CIFOR Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Smartphones and drones help indigenous communities fight deforestation

Thanks to drones and satellite technology, the Peruvian Amazon has halved the deforestation of indigenous lands in one year.