The world’s soil is in crisis. It’s being degraded, eroded and polluted at a rate never seen before. Experts believe that if things continue this way, the world will face catastrophic consequences. In fact, by 2050, it is estimated that there will be no more arable land left on Earth as a result of soil degradation and erosion. Few people are aware of how essential healthy soil is to life on earth. Soil not only supports our food supply but also regulates water cycles and stores carbon, among other functions. But what exactly is soil and why do we need to protect it?
What Is Soil?
Soil is the substance between the surface of the ground and the water above it. Though most people think of soil as a solid substance, in fact, it is a complex system of organic and inorganic materials that support plant and animal life.
The soil also holds water, minerals, bacteria, fungi and other living organisms, which make up the soil ecosystem.
The soil that surrounds us is truly a miracle.
Healthy soil is like a sponge: it absorbs water, minerals and nutrients from the subsoil (the layer beneath the surface of the ground) and then stores what it absorbs. When you plant a seed or harvest an apple, it takes root in this sponge — the soil — and grows. Soil is essential to plant and animal life. It provides food, protection, and homes for plants and animals.
It also stores carbon, a naturally occurring greenhouse gas that can help keep the earth’s temperature within a safe range. Without soil, you and your family could not live.
Why is Soil Important to Us?
Soil is a nutrient-rich, living medium essential to plant and animal life. The majority of the Earth’s surface is made up of soil. Without soil, it is impossible to grow crops, raise livestock, and create building materials.
Soil is key to protecting the earth’s health and our own, but it’s in short supply !!!
The soil in many parts of the world is being destroyed. We are losing soil at an alarming rate.
When soil is damaged or destroyed, it leads to an increase in the use of water, as well as a decrease in the quality of the water that is used. In addition, soil pollution is leading to an increase in the number of diseases, like water-borne diseases such as cholera, which are causing serious problems.
How Does Soil Get Polluted & Destroyed?
There are a number of threats to soils, including erosion, acidification, pollution, compaction, organic matter loss, salinization, and waterlogging.
Soil pollution is when people use the soil in a way that it was never intended to be used. This could include using it as a dumping ground for garbage, building structures on it, or using it for sports fields or other recreational activities. If soil is used in ways that it was not meant to be used, it will begin to accumulate harmful substances.
People can also contaminate soil by adding harmful substances to the soil. Besides, when farmers want to change the land from its natural state to a state that can be used for agriculture, they first need to remove the top layer of soil. Once this top layer has been removed, they can start to till the land, which is basically ploughing it up.
Now, the constant ploughing of the soil leads to soil erosion. In this process, the soil is being eroded and it is being carried to places where it is not wanted like rivers and lakes, or going into the air as dust particles. There are several ways in which soil erosion can occur. The soil can be eroded by water, wind, or gravity.
The Consequences of Destroying Soil
When you destroy soil, you destroy the ecosystem. As the soil is destroyed, the organisms living in it are also destroyed. This includes beneficial bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that help maintain the soil’s structure, water retention, and ability to absorb nutrients from the soil.
Many of these organisms are only found in tropical soils, meaning that if soil is destroyed in tropical regions, it could take thousands of years for the ecosystem to rebuild itself. When soil is destroyed, it can take decades for plants to grow again, and in some cases, not at all. When soil is destroyed, the plants and animals that rely on it for food will eventually die out. This could result in widespread famine and even extinction.
How Can We Save the Soil?
The soil is just like the body and if it is unhealthy, it will not be able to perform its functions properly. So, what can we do to protect our soil? The first and most important step is to not till the soil, which leads to soil erosion. Also, we must not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides in our soil. Instead, we must try to use methods that encourage natural soil health.
When we do this, the soil will be able to hold more water and nutrients, which will make it much more useful to our plants and animals. One of the best ways to protect soil health is to add organic matter, such as compost. This will help soils hold more water, nutrients, and oxygen. It is also important to not over-graze your land. If you do, then you are removing healthy grass and weeds, which are important for improving soil health.
Saving The Soil For Future Generations
All soils can be improved through proper management. When properly managed, any type of soil can produce an abundance of healthy plants. Unfortunately, however, not enough attention is paid to soil management in most parts of the world, and many soils are being damaged on a large scale.
Soil is the only thing that makes plants grow. So, it’s important to protect our soil from erosion and pollution. We can do this by not tilling the soil, using compost, and not over-graze our land. When the soil is healthy, plants will grow, animals will live, and water will be able to flow to the land easily.
As we can see, healthy soil is essential to our well-being. It provides nourishment to plants, aids in water retention and absorbs carbon dioxide, which helps to regulate the climate. So, let’s all take a moment to appreciate this amazing substance that makes our world possible.