Related topics: plants · climate change · nitrogen · atmosphere · carbon

Death in space: Here's what would happen to our bodies

As space travel for recreational purposes is becoming a very real possibility, there could come a time when we are traveling to other planets for holidays, or perhaps even to live. Commercial space company Blue Origin has ...

Lausanne tackles toxic soil after shock discovery

Lausanne, the capital of Olympic sport overlooking Lake Geneva, is reeling after discovering that much of its soil is polluted with toxic compounds belched out by an old incinerator.

Robots can improve agriculture, but old laws stand in the way

Agricultural robots are capable of working around the clock to help farmers produce food. However, laws and regulations are outdated and may, at worst, be slowing the development of new technologies, according to a new study ...

Long-term experiment shows warming slows microbes' growth

In a first-of-its-kind warming experiment, researchers at Northern Arizona University found that microbes growth rate decreased over 15 years of warming. The research, published this week in Global Change Biology, showed ...

An unusual molecule protects nerve cells from degeneration

An international research team led by Professor Stephanie Grond from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the University of Tübingen has found that the natural substance collinolactone reduces artificially-induced stress ...

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Soil

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics. It is composed of particles of broken rock that have been altered by chemical and environmental processes that include weathering and erosion. Soil differs from its parent rock due to interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and the biosphere. It is a mixture of mineral and organic constituents that are in solid, gaseous and aqueous states. Soil particles pack loosely, forming a soil structure filled with pore spaces. These pores contain sol solution (liquid) and air (gas). Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three state system. Most soils have a density between 1 and 2 g/cm³. Soil is also known as earth: it is the substance from which our planet takes its name. Little of the soil composition of planet Earth is older than Tertiary and most no older than Pleistocene. In engineering, soil is referred to as regolith, or loose rock material.

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