Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘wild facts’

65% of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production

Posted by feww on January 14, 2015

NO ORDINARY MATTER:

Soil degradation affecting 180 million people in SSA alone

The impacts of land degradation in Africa are substantial: 65% of arable land, 30% of grazing land and 20% of forests are too damaged for food production, according to a report published by the Montpellier Panel—a group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe.

“Affecting nearly one-third of the earth’s land area, land degradation reduces the productive capacity of agricultural land by eroding topsoil and depleting nutrients resulting in enormous environmental, social and economic costs. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) an estimated 180 million people are affected, while the economic loss due to land degradation is estimated at $68 billion per year.”

africa soil degradation
Types of soil degradation in Africa. Source: MONTPELLIER PANEL December 2014 Report.  Read more…

 Related Links

Posted in Climate Change, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

YESTERDAY Was World Soil Day 2014

Posted by feww on December 6, 2014

CRITICALLY LOW LEVELS of Topsoil Have Already Been Reached: FIRE-EARTH, EDRO

Did you know?

Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production and for services to ecosystems and human well-being. It is the reservoir for at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and therefore requires the same attention as above-ground biodiversity. Soils play a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and droughts. The largest store of terrestrial carbon is in the soil so that its preservation may contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The maintenance or enhancement of global soil resources is essential if humanity’s need for food, water, and energy security is to be met. FAO

And now, the rest of the story:

Topsoil

[The following was published by our colleagues at EDRO on February 18, 2008. Reprinted with permission from EDRO. ]

No Good for Farming!

“A [farmer] took up land [in Saskatchewan], dug a cellar and built a frame house on top of it; ploughed up the prairie and grew wheat and oats. After 20 years he decided the country was no good for farming, for eight feet of his soil had gone and he had to climb up into his house.” —Richard St. Barbe Baker, My Life, My Trees [Quoted by John Jeavons in How to Grow More Vegetables]

Land Use And Topsoil

once-a-forest.jpg
Once A Forest!
Photo credit: UNEP

Topsoil

Measuring an average of about 6.6 inches (16.76 centimeters) deep, topsoil is the upper layer of earth’s crust. Topsoil comprises of a mix of humus, mineral and composted materials giving rise to most of the soil’s biological activity and supplying nutrients to plants and therefore to animals. After air and water, topsoil is Earth’s most vital resource.

Topsoil: Wild Facts

topsoil-af8.png
Table TS1. Topsoil: Wild Facts
Note: The average bulk density of topsoil is calculated at about 1.4 gcm
-3

Causes of soil degradation

  • Soil erosion, salination, deforestation, overexploitation for fuelwood, overgrazing, nutrient depletion, large scale agricultural activities, industrialization and desertification.
  • The rate of degradation is increased exponentially against large scale agriculture.
  • Severe loss of arable land is affecting our ability to feed the world population.
  • Soil degradation is occurring globally, both in poor and wealthy countries.

Land Use and Degradation

soil-land-degradation-s.jpg
Table TS2. Earth: Land use and degradation

Note: The estimates for Biologically Productive Land are from a 2002 FAO report: The State of Food and Agriculture FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Rome, 2005, ISBN 92-5-105349-9

References [accessed February 1-17, 2008]

Posted in Global Disaster watch, News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part I

Posted by feww on March 14, 2008

WILD FACTS SERIES – Our Oceans Are Now Dying!

Ocean “deserts” are expanding much faster than predicted, according to a new study by the University of Hawaii and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA.

It is believed that the ocean “desertification,” which is caused by the warming of sea surface waters, may result in the population decline of many fish species.

globe2s.jpg
Black areas in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are the least productive. (Credit NOAA)

“Between 1998 and 2007, these expanses of saltwater with low surface plant life in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans grew by 15 percent or 6.6 million square kilometers, according to the study which appears in Geophysical Research Letters. The expansion is occurring at the same time that sea surface temperatures are warming about one percent or .02 to .04 degrees Celsius a year. The warming increases stratification of the ocean waters, preventing deep ocean nutrients from rising to the surface and creating plantlife.”

The evidence of this expansion comes from data collected by a sensor aboard NASA’s orbiting SeaStar spacecraft. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor, called SeaWiFS, is a unique tool that maps ocean biological productivity around the globe. This visual sensor reads reflective color to measure the density of chlorophyll in phytoplankton, the microscopic plants that are the base of the marine food web.”

These barren areas are found in roughly 20 percent of the world’s oceans and are within subtropical gyres—the swirling expanses of water on either side of the equator.”

globe1-s2.jpg
Dark blue areas in this figure of the global distribution of chlorophyll
are the areas with the least surface chlorophyll. (Credit NASA)

As for the remaining 80 percent area of world’s oceans …

See Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part II


References:

  • Landry, C.A., S. Manning, and A.O. Cheek. 2004. Hypoxia suppresses reproduction in Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis. e.hormone 2004 conference. Oct. 27-30. New Orleans.
  • Murphy, C. . . . P. Thomas, et al. 2004. Modeling the effects of multiple anthropogenic and environmental stressors on Atlantic croaker populations using nested simulation models and laboratory data. Fourth SETAC World Congress, 25th Annual Meeting in North America. Nov. 14-18. Portland, Ore.
  • Johanning, K., et al. 2004. Assessment of molecular interaction between low oxygen and estrogen in fish cell culture. Fourth SETAC World Congress, 25th Annual Meeting in North America. Nov. 14-18. Portland, Ore.
  • Nutrients in the Nation’s Waters–Too Much of a Good Thing? U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1136.

Related Links:

See Also:  Our Dying Oceans (Parts II,III, and IV)

Fair Use Notice!


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