The contamination or degradation of soils impacts heavily on the health of plants. As the soil quality decreases due to erosion, farmers have to resort to trying to get more life out of the dying substance. Downstream effects of soil erosion include: siltation of watercourses and water storages; reduction in water quality of creeks, rivers and coastal areas. It also shields a soil from raindrops and breaks down the wind before it can reach the soil with the full power. The lifetime of these reservoirs has been therefore significantly shortened [18]. I interviewed Ben Scott-Robinson, the founder of the Small Robot The world’s ecosystem is severely affected by the increase in the rate of soil erosion and sediment transport in the built environment and agricultural lands. This has therefore led to quite a few environmental problems Effects of Soil Erosion The consequences of soil erosion are primarily centered on reduced agricultural productivity as well as soil quality. Extreme events accompanied by floods, land-slides and debris flow also take their toll on the health of our soils. It also has other benefits for farmers such as weeds establish less Frequently walked trails become compacted, which leads to the decreased soil permeability and higher surface runoff. as a consequence. Planting new trees will gradually improve soil health as the roots bind the topsoil back together and the leaf litter which slowly rots on the ground will add to the layer of soil every year. Our soil is one part of the fragile skin that protects our planet and anchors all life to it. Tourism and recreational activities often damage ecosystems, especially if the number of tourists in a given area is greater than the ecosystem capacity to deal with it. Knowing that soils are being lost at a dramatic rate, and also knowing that it is very difficult to grow food with poor soils, farmers are trying to move towards a low or no-till system of farming. With over 60% of the world’s population owning some form of mobile device, the potential for waste,... Hi I'm Rob. Children are even more susceptible to the harms of soil pollution since they spend most of their time playing in close contact with the soil. As an important project for soil and water conservation in the semi-arid environment, the Grain-for-Green extensively transformed a wide range of farmland into vegetated land after the 1980s. begin to lose productivity after 3 or 4 years, but it is much better than the According to scientists who investigated the conditions in the area, rapid urban development with large construction projects is one of the main reasons for these high rates of soil loss. more susceptible to wind erosion causing an increase in overall air pollution (3). The likelihood of this occurring is increased as soil erosion occurs on these sloped areas. ; Rai, S.P. Soil erosion occurs when upper layers of soil are removed from their original location in the process that is either slow and goes unnoticed for long periods of time or can be sudden and cause immediate damage (for example: appearance of a rill in the middle of a crop field after heavy rain). Greentumble is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Usually, a whole layer of soil moves at once which leads to devastating impacts caused by the weight and speed of the moving solid mass. 2014 was one such year when Iowa lost 14 million tonnes of soil. And nothing holds soil better together than dense root system of healthy plants. asthma which is directly linked to airborne dust. Once the soil is free of vegetation, it is very eas… Soil erosion and degradation leads less carbon being stored in soils and activities such as tilling just make the problem worse as this process causes even more carbon to be released from the soil. Polluted soil can harm humans by making contact with the soil or consuming vegetation produce from contaminated soils. Soil erosion decreases soil fertility, which can negatively affect crop yields. These smaller machines reduces the requirement for large heavy machinery such While erosion is a naturally occurring process, human activity can accelerate it. Let’s first have a look at the problems on-site erosion brings. Negative effects of Erosion: LOSS OF NATURAL HABITAT – erosion leads to breakage of lands and buildings. (2), Studies, in fact, show that just reducing forest cover below 60% is enough to cause serious soil erosion. This is a global problem. These smaller particles of soil created by the tilling process are much lighter and can be eroded by wind or washed away by a heavy rain shower. If an area is allowed to be overgrazed, the vegetation is repeatedly being trampled and the native plants will be unable to grow and start dying. For example, a small village Napakiak has lost in one single storm 50 feet of its shoreline to erosion [9]. In many cases, erosion is the first step that starts the irreversible transformation of the landscape into the barren desert. Sedimentation which is out of 70 percent brought about by human-induced erosion [15]. Grain by grain, sand and dirt is picked up by wind from mismanaged lands and pushed farther and farther into new territories, slowly swallowing remaining vegetation and turning the area into the wasteland. In a warming climate, many areas of the planet are experiencing higher temperatures. Just as the story of the Dust Bowl mentioned previously suggests, wind erosion has the power to cause widespread air pollution that can affect places hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the original site of erosion. Soil erosion itself seriously impairs the quality of soil and its natural recovery rate, but it is not the worst problem that can occur. Climate change is also leading to an increase in more intense rainfall events. The island loses to deforestation-induced erosion around 400 tons of topsoil per hectare [6]. Soil erosion is an ongoing process that affects each site in a slightly different way. Since water comes with a great destructive power, with every new storm it will cut deeper and deeper into the trail, transforming it completely. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and acts to trap in heat from the sun causing global temperatures to rise at unparalleled rates. Researchers found out that loosen piles of earth removed from construction projects degrade more than 10 times faster than normal soils. Other specific objectives of the study include: 1. to determine the extent to which gully erosion affects the environment. A well covered soil prevents erosion. Soil particles are washed off into rivers, giving water a specific red color and leaving patches of eroded red dirt dispersed all over the land. 1.6 billion tons of soil are washed off into the Yellow River from the plateau every year. It is so much soil that it doesn’t go unnoticed. The deposition of silt in water courses often obstructs their natural path. Manifold Repercussions of soil erosion The effects of soil erosion have caused manifold repercussions. However, in breaking up the soils and destroying the structure this accelerates erosion. Besides introducing new pollutants in the water, soil transported into water bodies disrupts aquatic ecosystems by changing chemical and physical properties of water. as tractors which compact the soil and increase the requirement for tilling. The major off-site problem caused by erosion is the deposition of eroded soil, along with pollutants it picked up, into watercourses. Wind erosion does not only leave behind nutrient deprived soils that cannot support living vegetation, and thus make the situation even worse, but it also leads to a more serious problem in the long term – desertification. This reduction in tilling allows the soil to maintain its structure and lowers the rate of erosion from wind and rain. But thanks to human activity this process has gone from a gradual one, which might have taken place over decades or centuries, to a much faster one. Deforestation, agricultural development, temperature extremes, and human actions add to this erosion. Additional problem is the pollution of drinking water supply, which requires extra investment into removing impurities and making water suitable for drinking again. Each year around 75 billion tons of soil is eroded worldwide and soil is being lost at 13 to 40 times as fast as it is naturally being replaced. The most destructive force of a flowing body of water occurs during the period of floods. Seeds and plants can be disturbed or completely removed by the erosion. Or the force of water gives rise to the formation of small rills that can eventually develop into gullies. Soil erosion can also lead to mudslides and floods, negatively affecting the structural integrity of buildings and roadways. Pesticides and other chemicals can get trapped in soil, polluting streams and rivers as the soil breaks apart. in the event of rainfall the water level is more likely to rise above the river Grasslands, for example, store a total or 343 gigatons of carbon in just the top one meter of soil. Unless protective measures are taken, the land will suffer even more damage with every new rainfall. Without healthy soils life cannot exist. in certain areas. Interactions between forest and landslide activity along new highways in the Kumaun Himalaya. Only erosion gradually removes the last pieces of soil that could harbor new life. Soil erosion is a global issue and we can see its traits everywhere we go. Rainy years in 2010 and 2011 in Colombia led to extreme flooding of the Magdalena River, whose banks are a home to 80 percent of Colombians. Most of these activities are related to agriculture and so to slow them down we must look for more sustainable innovative solutions that can help restore and maintain the health of our precious soils. The reason for this is that erosion is caused by numerous factors, originating from both natural processes and human activities. Erosion by wind or water is greatly responsible for nearly 85 percent of soil degradation throughout the world [13]. The amount and intensity of precipitation, number of windy days, wind power, droughts, flooding or sudden weather changes. Mongolia is one of the countries with a high vulnerability to desertification. All this interception prevents rain from directly hitting the soil which causes erosion as the droplets dislodge soil particles and wash them away, 3) Groups of trees in a woodland prevent wind erosion. 2. to determine the causative factors of gully erosion. Climate change comes with many changes for our planet and the environment. These particles can contain fungi and bacteria, which can cause infection and diseases. This loss of productive farmland is worrying as the global population continues to grow, we are having to feed it on less land. banks and cause a flood. The Small Robot Company, a UK-based startup have Such a high rate of erosion, worsened by climate change, threatens to turn 90 percent of the Mongolian territory into a desert [12]. During times like the great Dust Bowl, wind blows across soils, and suspended them in the air. Soil Erosion occurs when the worn out particles are dislodged and passed away by wind or water. All these factors and their combinations can cause erosion under certain circumstances. “Effect of vegetation changes on soil erosion on the Loess Plateau.”. This is largely due to erosion but also intensive farming practices. Just the global events of the summer 2018 demonstrate the great destructive power of climate change. Soil erosion can reason great damage to environment as greater than before loss of soil can have an effect on the growth of natural vegetation and in turn this leads to transfer of fertile land into a desert. Wind often picks up fine particles of sand, silt and organic matter and buries or breaks seedlings, while exposing seeds or plant roots in other places. Organic matter from the soil, residues and any applied manure, is relatively lightweight and can be readily transported off the field, particularly during spring thaw conditions. Many construction projects begin by completely removing vegetation, which affects the ability of soils to absorb water, often leaving soils exposed and vulnerable for many years before the project is finished. According to the estimates, the cost of offsetting erosion effects in the United States ranges between US $100 million to $44 billion per year [1]! towards more perennial crops, ones that last longer than a single year. Overgrazing is another major contributor to erosion. Increasing sediment loads can block rivers and dams, eventually leading to mud floods and further damage to surrounding ecosystems and built structures. The wind slows down as it hits the mass of Trees, and other vegetation play a key role in holding soils together. (4), But as these soils become degraded that carbon is lost back to the atmosphere. 20% of the world’s croplands are decreasing in productivity as the world’s population grows at 1.1% per year. Soil erosion is a critical environmental problem of the Loess Plateau, China. 2. to determine the causative factors of gully erosion. The floods were a tragedy for these people, forcing 2.5 million people to relocate and destroying one million hectares of crops. The Dust Bowl was caused primarily by the misjudgment of the local climate and ecology. Topsoil is crucial for plant growth because it contains the majority of organic matter and 50 percent of important nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium [10]. Over time, abusive farming and agricultural tilling processes can result in nutrient degradation -- the decline in soil quality. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'innovate_eco_com-box-4','ezslot_6',115,'0','0'])); If you’ve ever stood in a dense forest on a windy day you’ll know it feels very sheltered. better job of holding the soil together and helping prevent erosion. These roots are there to provide stability for the tree, but also to absorb nutrients and water mostly from the top layer of the soil. Although this occurs naturally, degraded, drier soils are The same scenario happens when off-road biking, horse riding, having fun with ATVs or parking cars on the side of the road. For example, Indian government has measured the rate of sedimentation in 11 water reservoirs around the country and found out that the amount of deposited material is up to 1,600 percent higher than previously expected. 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