Sustainable soil practice to reverse damaged climate

Jessie Ristau

Soil health. Maybe amid everything that’s been going on in the world lately, that’s not at the top of the list… but it definitely should be. Why? Because the entire world’s meal security, their livelihoods, depend directly on the health of soils — even so, the well-being of soils is being threatened everyday.


First thing’s first. Soil isn’t just dirt. Soils are as fundamental as air and as essential to life on Earth as water.  The core nutrients found in soil — nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and more — are the same nutrients we consume in the foods that keep us alive. The building blocks of our bodies are made up of the same organic compounds found in soils.


Yet soils do so much more than just feed people. Soils are actually the largest storehouse of terrestrial carbon on Earth. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, so while soils play a massive role in storing, or sequestering, carbon, disturbing them causes carbon to be released as carbon dioxide. This disturbance is caused by unsustainable land management such as harvesting fossil fuels, over-cultivation and deforestation.


Even with the already significant losses of soil carbon worldwide, there is still the chance to reverse much of the damage. By using sustainable land management, such as regenerative agriculture and using renewable energy, there’s potential to re-sequester carbon back into the ground. The more carbon that is stored in soils means less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, making the Earth more resilient to climate change.


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