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

Microbes are 'active engineers' in Earth's rock-to-life cycle

The name "critical zone" may give off 1980s action thriller vibes, but it's the term scientists use to refer to the area of Earth's land surface responsible for sustaining life. A relatively small portion of the planetary ...

Soil tainted by air pollution expels carbon

New UC Riverside research suggests nitrogen released by gas-powered machines causes dry soil to let go of carbon and release it back into the atmosphere, where it can contribute to climate change.

How much greenhouse gas do tropical soils emit?

Nitrogen changes form as it cycles between air, soil, and life. Soils, for example, emit nitrogen either as inert dinitrogen (N2), which dominates our atmosphere, or as nitric oxide (NO) or nitrous oxide (N2O), the greenhouse ...

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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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