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Examine the effects of the impact of human activity on soil.

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Introduction

Examine the effects of the impact of human activity on soil. In the context of living in the modern world the environment is very important to study and maintain. As technology advances the world we live in is changing, but sometimes these changes are disturbing the balance of nature that has been well established for thousands of years. The effect that we are having on soil is often very detrimental; erosion is an ever-present problem all across the globe. I aim to investigate the impact that human activity has had on soil, and evaluate solutions to the problem. Initially it is important to look at what can be damaged and what the risk is to soils. The main threats include erosion, acidification, pollution, compaction, organic matter loss and salinisation. The increasing amounts of fertilizers and other chemicals applied to soils since World War II, has caused great concern over soil pollution. ...read more.

Middle

Another careless error of human kind is to let overgrazing to occur. Overgrazing, which in time can change grassland to desert, can be seen causing great problems in the USA. The dustbowl effect is evidence of this. It is believed by some historians that soil erosion has been an underlying cause in various population shifts and the fall of certain civilizations. Ruins of towns and cities have been found in arid regions such as the deserts of Mesopotamia, which shows that agriculture was once widespread in the surrounding territory. To remedy these problems we have to act fast. In protecting soil we have to consider not only the land but also the land use and the pressures on it, and then find the correct balance of how to help both the land and people. Often without the money coming in from industry and farmers the land that we need to conserve would have gone to waste anyway and there money is preserving it already. ...read more.

Conclusion

When ramblers go out in the countryside they cause another problem, trampling. Through repeated trampling the ground gets ruined and so do the plants, until walkers use alternate paths and also eventually ruin those as well. These methods are all very effective in combating erosion. They are split into five categories, revegetation, erosion control, crop management, run-off control and soil reclamation. The latter is done through drainage. I believe the easiest of these to use is good crop management. This would mean a well-stratified plan to the use of the land b the farmer. It is the cheapest to do, as no alterations to the land are required. It can be done globally but in poorer areas there may be too much pressure to maintain this. At Kinder Scout in England revegetation has been a successful move, replacing plants where walkers had trampled them. The conclusion I am making is that for every soil where human problems have had a diverse effect, it will be a different solution required. There is no standard answer, and farmers, walkers and industrialists need to come up with their own. ...read more.

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