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A spreader unloads crushed metabasalt rock on a fallowed corn field in the Central Valley. Photo: Amy Quinton/ UC Davis, for media useAmy Quinton/ UC Davis, for media use

Crushed volcanic rock helps soil capture carbon

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A new study highlights the effectiveness of rock dust in aiding the process. Even under severe drought conditions
There are still nearly 377 million acres of intact grasslands in the Great Plains of North America. Photo: Ammchale CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 InternationalAmmchale CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Canada and U.S. have lost 130,000 km2 of grasslands in ten years

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According to WWF's latest study, in the past year, grasslands have ceded nearly 6,500 km2 of soil to conversion. With obvious consequences for carbon release
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
Rain causes a reset of the soil ecosystem, triggering the activity of bacteria and viruses. Photo: 2140261AishwaryaShinde CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International2140261AishwaryaShinde CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

New insights into the relationship between viruses and soil bacteria

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According to UC Davis researchers, soil viruses appear to act "like lawnmowers, culling older cells and giving space for new growth"
Nanoparticles allow pesticides to be applied directly where they are needed while reducing the amount used. 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

Nanoparticles are a sustainable weapon against soil pests

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According to the University of California, the use of plant-derived nanoparticles can reduce the amount of pesticides used and the chances of soil contamination
Typha plants have been found to be particularly effective in absorbing salt. Photo: Bogdan CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 UnportedPhoto: Bogdan CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Invasive plants can remove excess salt at the roadsides

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Some plants help clear roadsides of salt and pollutants, a research has found. But their contribution is not enough. De-icing applications need to be reduced
In the Corn Belt, where the majority of U.S. agricultural production is concentrated, climate change is set to impact agricultural yields. Photo: Steven Martin Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Photo: Steven Martin Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This is how climate change will alter U.S. agriculture

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Climate change is set to impact agricultural yields in the U.S. Midwest, a study by the University of Connecticut says. "Data suggest a 12 percent decrease in corn yields by around 2050 and 40 percent by the end of the century"
In many cities in the United States and Canada, municipal waste incinerators were largely shut down in the 1970s in the face of growing concerns about air pollution. Photo: Fraser, Clayton B. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Public DomainPhoto: Fraser, Clayton B. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Public Domain

Waste incineration leaves a heavy legacy in soils

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Where waste was once burned, higher concentrations of lead are detected in the soil, says research from Duke University. With obvious health consequences
In addition to economic benefits, the reduced use of nitrogen fertilizer also has environmental benefits. Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Lynn Betts public domainPhoto: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Lynn Betts public domain

Deep soil testing reduces fertilizer spending

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A study from Texas quantified the average savings associated with reducing fertilizer use after soil testing. For a 1,000-acre U.S. farm, it exceeds $130,000 per year
When installing photovoltaic panels in the ground, leveling, excavation and burial operations can cause erosion. Photo: Mark Buckawicki CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain DedicationPhoto: Mark Buckawicki CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

Solar farms may encourage soil erosion in U.S.

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Virginia Tech researchers will analyze erosion risk in the state's solar installations. In the U.S., the problem is real. But several solutions are available