The soils of the planet are essential for the maintenance of the biosphere (the part of the Earth where life exists), as well as for the regulation of the climate. They perform important functions such as sustenance of agricultural and livestock production or carbon storage. There are different types of soil, but, in general, they are composed of more than 90% mineral matter, while the rest is organic matter, most of which is fungi, algae, bacteria and actinobacteria, which perform important functions such as renewal. the reserve of nutrients in the soil, that is, to preserve its fertility. To those that we have already mentioned, in the following article we will talk about the importance of soils.
From an ecological point of view, soils offer diverse benefits for the environment:
If soils are degraded, the environment is degraded from its very base, that is, it is something that will affect the entire environment sooner or later. Soil degradation occurs, above all, by human activity. From the deposition of atmospheric pollutants, uncontrolled discharges or spills due to accidents of hydrocarbons and other polluting substances, to the inadequate storage of industrial products, the dumping of urban waste or the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, all this damages the soil with dire long-term consequences.
In addition, the increase in extensive agriculture and urban overexpansion cause the original soils to be lost. Likewise, the process (natural or not) of desertification has as a consequence the definitive loss of productive soils.
Finally, it can be pointed out that one of the greatest benefits of soils is the amount of carbon dioxide they retain. If CO2 and other soil gases are released into the atmosphere, climate change would accelerate so fast that would probably destroy the current civilization. Thus, not keeping the soils in good condition can lead to economic and social problems, such as the generation of conflicts over water, poverty, a decrease in essential resources, low agricultural production, hunger, marginalization or forced emigration.
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