There are many problems with the environment that contribute to the deteriorating health of soil. Scientists are naming this phenomenon as “underground climate change”. Many problems such as deforestation, greenhouse gasses, pollution, and more are all affecting our soil.
Anytime there are stray particles floating around in the air, they contribute to polluting our soil. All of these particles enter into the soil and make it dry, causing many difficulties for agriculture.
According to UMD Extension, “The soil may be sticky when wet and brick-like when dry. It may be difficult to prepare the soil for planting and plants may struggle due to a lack of oxygen and too much or too little water.” This can affect the top soil as well as cause the soil to be lacking in nutrition, resulting in mal-nourished food.
At first this may seem a problem for only agriculture, however, the effects pose a severe threat to all aspects of our environment.
Healthy soil gives us clean air and water, bountiful crops and forests, productive rangeland, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes (Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania).
Healthy soil has many benefits for the environment. It helps to regulate water - soil helps control where rain, snowmelt, and irrigation water goes. Water and dissolved solutes flow over the land or into and through the soil. It’s also helpful in filtering potential pollutants. Many minerals and microbes in soil are responsible for filtering, buffering, degrading, immobilizing, and detoxifying organic and inorganic materials, including industrial and municipal by-products and atmospheric deposits (Soil Conditions).
While sustaining plant and animal life, soil also cycles nutrients for our environment, For example, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and many other nutrients are stored, transformed, and cycled through the soil.
On top of that, buildings need stable soil for support, and archaeological treasures associated with human habitation are protected in soils.
As you can see, soil is an invaluable resource for our environment and the world would not be the same without it. It’s important to keep our soil safe by keeping our cities clean!