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

Did 40-year-old Viking experiment discover life on Mars?

(Phys.org)—In 1976, two Viking landers became the first US spacecraft from Earth to touch down on Mars. They took the first high-resolution images of the planet, surveyed the planet's geographical features, and analyzed ...

Plant roots increase carbon emission from permafrost soils

A key uncertainty in climate projections is the amount of carbon emitted by thawing permafrost in the Arctic. Plant roots in soil stimulate microbial decomposition, a mechanism called the priming effect. An international ...

Study shows wetter climate is likely to intensify global warming

A study in the May 6th issue of Nature indicates the increase in rainfall forecast by global climate models is likely to hasten the release of carbon dioxide from tropical soils, further intensifying global warming by adding ...

Coated seeds may enable agriculture on marginal lands

Providing seeds with a protective coating that also supplies essential nutrients to the germinating plant could make it possible to grow crops in otherwise unproductive soils, according to new research at MIT.

Microbe chews through PFAS and other tough contaminants

In a series of lab tests, a relatively common soil bacterium has demonstrated its ability to break down the difficult-to-remove class of pollutants called PFAS, researchers at Princeton University said.

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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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