Soil Is A Vital Part Of The Natural Environment

1352 Words May 24th, 2016 6 Pages
Soil is a vital part of the natural environment. Without soil the land on Earth would be wastelands of barren rock. Soil is the thin skin of our earth where we plant and grow vital grain crops such as wheat, corn and rice that feed more than seven billion of us. The future rests on the soil beneath our feet. History is littered with the remains of civilizations that ignored, exploited and degraded the soil beneath their feet. One-third of the world’s soil has already been damaged by wind and water erosion, deforestation, compaction, nutrient depletion and pollution. By our own actions we are losing soil faster than nature can create it. Unless we protect the remaining soil and improve land use and conservation practices, the global amount of productive land per person in 2050 will only be a quarter of what it was in 1960 (Do We Treat Our Soil Like Dirt? (2015). It takes between 100 and 300 years for one centimeter of fertile soil to develop. Soil develops through a process involving weather, fracturing and comminution of rock into mineral soil particles. These processes evolve at varying speeds, depending on the intensity of the surrounding factors. Soil is far more than a mixture of exclusively mineral particles, it is also a mixture of decomposed organic substances, humus and mineral elements that are subjected to water and air, as well as a myriad of flora and fauna (Soil development. (n.d.). Every soil is a mixture of three main components: sand, clay and silt. A more…
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