Also useful to respond about coming 🇪🇺 #Soil Monitoring Law, #SUR and #Reach

Scientists support the EU's Green Deal and reject the unjustified argumentation against the Sustainable Use Regulation and the Nature Restoration Law

#GreenDeal #FoodSecurity

Scientific Frontline
1 day ago

For a long time, little attention was paid to #soil temperatures. In contrast to air temperatures near the surface, hardly any reliable data was available because of the considerably more complex measurement.
#Environmental #EarthScience #ClimateChange #sflorg

Matthias C. Rillig
1 day ago

Reading in journal club

Garland et al.
Perspectives on the misconception of levitating soil aggregates

#soil #soilhealth

Michael ヘビ Steinwandter
2 days ago

#Soil is still a neglected topic in many ways, but we were asked to talk about #microplastic 🚬🩹🛍️ in soil and #rivers of #SouthTyrol for a TV documentary.

What do we know about it?
Well... basically nothing yet 🫣

#PlasticPollution #PlasticPlanet #EuracResearch #AlpSoil_Lab

A film team recording researchers how they sample microplastics in a river.
A researcher taking soil fauna samples that are also used to check for microplastics.
3 days ago
Matthias C. Rillig
3 days ago

Just out in New Phytologist:

Edu Jimenez et al.
The potential of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to enhance metallic micronutrient uptake and mitigate food contamination in agriculture: prospects and challenges

#mycorrhiza #SoilHealth #soil #agriculture #microbiome

Concept figure from the paper
Alex Koiter
4 days ago

Need some help/advice from #RStats #soil #photography communities. I want characterize soil colour from photographs. The 1st issue it that the lighting conditions will vary between photos but I have a reference card that can be included in the photo but how can I correct for these differences. 2nd how can I automate all most of this process in R? Example in the photo

Soil in petri dish sitting on top of a reference card with small squares in a range of colours
Philipp Bück
6 days ago

I am now a Certified Soil Food Web Laboratory (not lavoratory) Technician and my pronouns are Flagellate/Fungi.
#agroecology #regenag #soilfoodwebschool #soil

Tim Moore
1 week ago

What we are doing in industrial agriculture can't even be called #agriculture anymore. It's mining, the extraction of #water, #energy and #soil until exhaustion or market collapse for short term #profit. The #capitalist class has no plan for when the cash stops coming in, except to look for another extractive industry to cash in on, leaving behind a crust of salt covering the fields.

Tim Moore
2 weeks ago

Maybe we should learn from the #trees how to build a #sustainable #economy. Trees give back to the system as much as they take. Even more. They don't need to constantly seek new #energy sources from far away or dig up the land destroying it for other creatures. They use the #sun the #rain and the #soil to provide all they need within reach of their branches and roots, and they #grow.

Amata (they/she)
2 weeks ago

Miktoniscus sp. (i'm really bad at acronyms, should it be sp. nov. since it's unknown and hopefully being described soon? or is sp. nov. only for when actually describing it?) ANYWAY Miktoniscus bootayyyy
#IsopodAutumn #isopods #soil #cave # life

tiny little white clear isopod critter
Matthias C. Rillig
2 weeks ago

Really enjoyed the European Healthy Soils meeting this week in Muttenz/ Basel, Switzerland.

Impeccably organized, fun and fascinating meeting that brought together academia, industry and policymakers.

#SoilHealth #soil

! Quite Interesting
2 weeks ago

In a single gram of soil there is as much as 1,000,000 micrograms of earth!

#soil #earth #dirt #facts #QI #notQI

Rubha Phoil
2 weeks ago

We had a very interesting visit from

Dr Nourou Yorou
Dr David Minter
And Gihan S. Soliman BA, PGCE, MSc, RSci, Soil Sci

It was so nice to have interesting conversations with experts in #Soil, #Agroforestry, #Permaculture and the world of #Fungi.

Thank you for your visit. We hope to welcome you again!

Dr Nourou Yorou
Dr David Minter
And Gihan S. Soliman BA, PGCE, MSc, RSci, Soil Sci
Matthias C. Rillig
2 weeks ago

Very happy to share our new review paper on the soil plastisphere, just out in Nature Reviews Microbiology.

#microplastics #plasticpollution #soil #soilhealth #microbiome

Transition Together
2 weeks ago

What did you get up to this summer? Yaz from our team headed to the
#Landskillsfair and found many highlights and much food for thoughts for the Transition movement...

“A favourite moment was when I encountered Straw Mummers. These silent figures would gently bow and hand a stalk of grain to anyone standing near, pointing to a small circle where they could be placed in the earth with those of others.”

Read their highlights here:

#landskills #land #food #soil #agroecology #transitiontown #climateaction #grassroots

Three 'mummers' dressed in straw outfits and head dresses which mask their faces hand out stalks of grain to children at the Land Skills Fair
Lisa Hamilton
3 weeks ago

My #gardening peeps, is it a known thing that #tomatoes ripened inside on the counter turn orange rather than red? Or is there some mineral deficiency in my #soil?

The 2 big red tomatoes were picked fully ripe from my neighbors' in-ground garden. The 2 orange ones I picked green from my plants in pots. The orange ones are 2 different varieties of tomato
#food #plants #harvest #summer

4 tomatoes in a white plate with black design, against a bright turquoise blue tablecloth. 2 tomatoes are normal  tomato red. 2 are ripening into a yellowish orange shade of red
CelloMom On Cars
3 weeks ago

"The new model showed that the most effective way to reduce #emissions is to boost #soil modifications for crops (#biochar, #compost and rock amendments), develop #agroforestry, advance sustainable seafood harvesting practices and promote hydrogen-powered #fertilizer production. "

#agriculture #food

Petra van Cronenburg
3 weeks ago

#ClimateDiary 10 o'clock and tired again. So much work in the morning before the #heatwave in #Alsace strikes again. 33°C at 9 am, half shadow. The freshly sown fields caress the maize pollen with dust storms until the throat itches. #Soil #erosion. #Crop failures. I say goodbye to beloved native #plants that can no longer withstand the #climate. The Corsican in our street with his palm garden seems to be up-to-date. All windows and even shutters closed for work, the dog lies flat beside me.

My foot on clay soil with deep and numerous cracks, no more plants. This is an unhealthy soil of a maize monoculture during a drought. The photo was taken in 2019 but at the moment it looks again like this. Droughts come more often, even in winter.
3 weeks ago

3/ (I have lots of well established potted saplings from past removals in various beds).
I dug up some mostly rotted wood debris/sawdust from my wood cutting area and potted them all up in old pots. Bonuses: a #native Viburnum edule, which was loose where I was collecting the soil (common here) and a #VolunteerSeedling Viola front row (more next post)
#NativePlants #repotting #BuildingSoil #Soil

Two rows of potted seedlings of spruce plus one tamarack, one Viburnum  and one tiny Viola, they are in old green and black plastic pots, except the viburnum which is an old broken plastic ice cream tub. Soil is rich black natural decomposed wood waste/sawdust/fallen leaves/needles etc with bits of wood, sawdust bark etc visible.
Joseph A. Langley
3 weeks ago

This cosmos #bloom shines brightly. Cosmos refers to the genus - there are many species. They're part of the #aster family (Asteraceae). Pollinators enjoy cosmos.

Cosmos will become overly tall and fall over when planted in rich #soil. Wet, soggy soil should be avoided as well. Cosmos will self-seed.

This particular #flower is Cosmos bipinnatus (Garden cosmos). It has been naturalized in various parts of the U.S. and elsewhere.

#plants #outdoors #photography #art #artwork #colorful

This is a photo of a garden cosmos bloom.
Jack of all trades
3 weeks ago

Industrial pollution, mining, farming and poor waste management are poisoning soils.

Pollutants include metals, cyanides, DDT and other pesticides, and long-lasting organic chemicals such as PCBs, making food and water unsafe, cutting the productivity of fields and harming wildlife.

The global production of industrial chemicals each year has doubled since 2000 to 2.3bn tonnes, and is projected to nearly double again by 2030.

#soil #pollution

Jack of all trades
3 weeks ago

Fertile soil is being lost at a rate of 24bn tonnes a year.

Heavy tilling, multiple harvests and abundant use of agrochemicals have increased yields at the expense of long-term sustainability. In the past 20 years, agricultural production has increased threefold and the amount of irrigated land has doubled. Over time, however, this diminishes fertility and can lead to abandonment of land and ultimately desertification.

#soil #sustainability

Matthias C. Rillig
3 weeks ago

New paper out:
Mind the gap: forest soils as a hidden hub for global micro- and nanoplastic pollution

#plastic #microplastics #soil #soilhealth #forest

4 weeks ago

"...a team of researchers are taking nature's designs and engineering a new solution for planting crops, fertilising soil or replanting forests." #Youtube #Video #Videos #Science #Engineering #Nature #Plants #Agriculture #Soil #Forest @science @engineering

Matthias C. Rillig
4 weeks ago

Paper just accepted:

Plastics can be used more sustainably in agriculture

Will post link & details once available

#plastic #agriculture #soil #pollution

1 month ago

Why Genetically Engineered Soil Microbes Are Concerning. The modifications released inside #GMO microbes could move across species & geographic boundaries w/ unforeseen and potentially irreparable consequences—and on a far larger less-containable scale than with GMO plants. And of the billions of species of #microbes making up living #soil, we understand the function of less than 1%, and even less the complex relationships microbes have w/ each other & w/ other organisms

1 month ago

This is the beginning of my #soil restoration project. An area of our #MN property had been cleared, covered in plastic, & topped with 1-2 tons of sand. We pulled out the old play structure, and I am hand digging out the plastic. Then I add compost, cardboard & mulch. It’s slow going. In the winter this area will be covered with several feet of snow. Hopefully, next spring, I can begin planting native habitat in the completed areas.

It’s a giant sandbox adjacent to nature. Corner of the sandbox has been dug out and layered with compost, cardboard & mulch.
1 month ago

NABG is hosting Dr. #Berhe, a renowned soil scientist and political ecologist as the closing keynote speaker at #NABG42. Dr. Berhe studies how #soil can combat climate change by storing carbon and reducing emissions. She leads the Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy. She also chairs the Earth Sciences and Geology department at #UCMerced.

#NABG #NABG23 #blackinstem #geology #soilscience #ecologist #climatechange #DoE #blackingeology

Image of the NABG's closing keynote speaker Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe. She is the director of the Office of Science for the US Department of Energy, an award-winning scientist and advocate for equity and inclusion in STEM. Dr. Berhe's research interests are broadly focused on soil science and sustainable global change science. Dr. Berhe is a soil biogeochemist, who strives to understand the effect of changing environmental conditions on vital soil processes, such as the cycling and fate of essential elements in the critical zone.

Improving soil quality is crucial to meeting climate targets. Simple techniques like crop rotation and cover crops can enhance soil health, allowing it to store and sequester carbon dioxide. Additionally, soil plays a key role in supporting food security, water availability, and biodiversity. #soil #climate #food

The soil is home to a diverse range of life, including insects, spiders, bacteria, and fungi. This diversity is crucial for food production, climate regulation, and human health. #soil #life #biodiversity

1 month ago

Sometimes the FAO does useful stuff:

The Global Soil Doctors Programme is a farmer-to-farmer training initiative that aims to build the capacity of farmers on sustainable soil management while supporting national governments and stakeholders in addressing the needs of their rural communities. This online platform provides support for farmers, policy makers, development planners, agricultural extension workers, NGOs, private sectors and any other practitioner/stakeholder interested in transmitting the importance of soil as a vital resource.
#Agroecology #SoilScience #ExtensionServices #Farming #Fao #BurkinaFaso #FarmerToFarmer #SoilDoctorsProgramme #GlobalSoilDoctorsProgramme #Soil #SoilStewardship #SustainableAgriculture #Agriculture

Photpgraphy showing a group of farmers in Burkina Faso in front of a green field and a beautiful light cloudy sky. One person is shaking the hand of another. Below is written:
Celebrating the first 20 soil doctors' trainers in Burkina Faso
Hippy Steve
1 month ago

I've been trying to find the best #remediation method for 2-3 cubic yards of #soil contaminated by #diesel gas.


So far, low temp #pyrolysis seems like the best bet, but I'm not sure what sort of set-up would work to achieve a consistent 100-350C low oxygen burn.

James Bartlett :terminal:
1 month ago

Well, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

What exactly is a "functional grass #lawn," anyway? #Grass lawns are strictly #decorative, and therefore non-functional by definition. If a patch of grass has a legitimate function, then it's not a lawn. Native grasses for #soil #erosion prevention? Functional. #Lawns and #golf courses? Non-functional.

Note to any butthurt #golfers out there:
A golf course is *not* a legitimate function of grass. Your #GolfBall will roll just fine on any moderately flat surface. Find a way to play your #SillyGame without #KillingThePlanet, or find a new silly game. #SorryNotSorry

B's Creative Life 🌈 🎃
1 month ago

♻️ Mulch, compost, add layers, but unless you have SERIOUSLY compacted soil, don't till please. It's for the soil's sake and for the regeneration of it's biosphere that we've destroyed. ♻️

#naturalist #soil #regeneration #gardening #farming

Screenshot from
"Another detrimental aspect of tilling is that it breaks up any existing microscopic pathways built by the organisms of the soil food web to deliver water, nutrients and oxygen. The blades of a tiller are harmful to fungi too. Although tiny, the strands of a fungus are long – relatively speaking – and can be sliced apart, reducing fungal populations. More to the point, tilling destroys about 50% of the organisms of the soil food web, according to research.

The microorganism population which requires oxygen will already be at low levels, so the last thing you want to do is further reduce the number of these good guys. Meanwhile, the only organisms thriving in the compacted layer beneath the tilled surface are the anaerobic species. Those are the bad guys – the diseases – and they will stick around long after you’ve turned off the tiller."
Michael Cervieri
1 month ago

studying soil at the top of trees.

"Murray says tree canopies in the tropical montane forest systems are especially dense, with thick moss, soil and an abundance of epiphytes—plants that grow on other plants—often referred to as "air plants"—that are not parasitic and have little or no attachment to other obvious nutrient sources.

"It's like another world in the air—canopies teeming with plant, insect and animal life," she says. "

#soil #trees #science

Hippy Steve
2 months ago

I should clarify. The #CarbonCapture draw down from #RegenerativeAgriculture compost is 1 metric ton/acre of rangeland - So potential for 62 million tons of drawdown in CA. This carbon is stored stably in the #soil vs soil carbon lost on untreated range land. The high tech carbon capture needs huge underground storage caverns.

The 55 tons/acre is net emissions reduction achieved by upstream diversion of traditionally high-emissions waste management practices

Lukas VF Novak
2 months ago

#Microbe-stuffed #SoilCrusts menaced by #ClimateChange

BONCAT-FACS-Seq reveals the active fraction of a #biocrust community undergoing a wet-up event

"Using a novel method to detect #microbial activity in biological #soil crusts, or #biocrusts, after they are wetted, research team uncovered clues that will lead to a better understanding of the role #microbes play in forming a living skin over many semi-#arid ecosystems around the world."

male researcher collecting samples of desert soil using a large number of small shiny metalic disks
Lukas VF Novak
2 months ago

Two-thirds of the world's #biodiversity lives in the soil

Enumerating #SoilBiodiversity

"The group with the highest proportion of species living in the #soil is #fungi—90% of them live there. They are followed by #plants and their #roots with 86%. #Earthworms and #mollusks such as #snails make up 20%."

The springtail Dicyrtomina minuta on snail eggs.
Hippy Steve
2 months ago

New study calculates that about 59% of species on Earth rely on #soil for one or more stages of their life. That figure is a steep change from the only previous general estimate of about a quarter of all animals.

“We’re starting to realize that we’ve really messed up our soils at a global scale.” says one of the study's authors.

2 months ago

New paper shows that #soil is likely home to 59% of #life including everything from #microbes to #mammals, making it the singular most #biodiverse #habitat on #Earth

2 months ago

Unfortunately, the public comment period for this project has passed. But this editorial has good information in it.

EDITORIAL: Keep #PFAS out of recycled sewage sludge

By Gazette Editorial Board | June 9, 2023

"PFAS chemicals have recently been at the heart of health and environmental issues in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh and other areas around the state, leading to legal action, tougher regulations and cleanup efforts.

"The chemicals have been linked to a variety of health issues, including kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, colitis and high blood pressure.

"In most cases, the environmental contamination comes from the discharge of the compounds into the soil from manufacturers of products that use PFAS chemicals, such as #nonStick cooking material, #firefighting foam and stain-resistant #carpet.

"But those same dangerous chemicals may also be finding their way in greater amounts into our #soil, #groundwater and even #FoodSupply through their use in #fertilizers made from #sewage #sludge.

"It’s imperative that [#NewYorkState] do all it can to reduce PFAS chemicals into the environment, not add to them.

"That’s why groups like the #SierraClub and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York are among those concerned about an element of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s draft Solid Waste Management plan that could nearly triple the amount of recycled sewage sludge used in fertilizer and applied to #farmland and home #gardens.

"According to an article in the Altamont Enterprise, the DEC projects that 425,585 tons of sewage sludge is expected to be recycled this year. In 2018, the amount recycled was just over 300,000 tons. By 2050, the amount of recycled sludge is expected to rise to 782,527 tons, the newspaper reported.

"The potential for that sludge to contain PFAS chemicals means that there could be an increase in PFAS’s making their way into the environment.

"DEC officials said they recognize the potential for PFAS chemicals to re-enter the environment through sludge and they’re taking steps to address it, including proposing sampling requirements for so-called biosolids recycled in New York state, a comprehensive risk assessment to determine a limit for biosolids recycling, and efforts to identify potential commercial and industrial sources of PFAS chemicals in biosolids.

"The public really needs to keep an eye on this effort to ensure that the state is doing all it can to avoid contributing to more of these chemicals entering the environment."

#EPA #InformedConsent #PFOS #WaterIsLife #ToxicWaste #FoodProduction

2 months ago

#Chemical companies’ #PFAS payouts are huge – but the problem is even bigger

#3M, #DuPont, #Chemours and #Corteva have agreed settlement in the billions for #polluting drinking #water with ‘forever chemicals’

by Tom Perkins, Aug 3, 2023

"“When the chemical giant 3M agreed in early June to pay up to $12.5bn to settle a lawsuit over PFAS contamination in water systems across the nation, it was hailed by attorneys as 'the largest drinking water settlement in American history', and viewed as a significant win for the public in the battle against toxic 'forever chemicals'.

“A second June settlement with the PFAS manufacturers DuPont, Chemours and Corteva tallied a hefty $1.1bn. But while the sums are impressive on their face, they represent just a fraction of the estimated $400bn some estimate will be needed to clean and protect the nation’s drinking water. Orange county, California, alone put the cost of cleaning its system at $1bn.

“‘While over a billion dollars is real money, it is a virtual drop in the bucket of potential utility costs to monitor, remove and dispose of these contaminants in accordance with anticipated federal regulations,' the American Municipal Water Association trade group said in a statement.

“Moreover, the two settlements include just over 6,000 water systems nationwide. Utilities that were not part of the suits but have PFAS in their systems can claim some of the settlement money, or they can sue the chemical manufacturers on their own.

“That means the settlements only represent the first wave of utility lawsuits to hit #ChemicalManufacturers, legal observers say. Because PFAS are so widely used and the scale of their harm is so great, chemical makers will get hit from a range of legal angles, and some suspect the industry’s final bill could exceed the $200bn paid by #BigTobacco in the 1990s.

“The number will be 'very large', said Kevin McKie, an attorney with the Environmental Litigation Group who represented a water management company in the 3M case. Though the 3M settlement does not cover all the nation’s costs, it is a strong start, he added.

“‘A good settlement is one where both sides walk away a bit frustrated’ is the old saying,' McKie said. 'Of course I would have liked a bit more money but I do believe they got as much as they could at this time, and there’s a lot more to go.'

“PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds used to make products across dozens of industries resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called 'forever chemicals' because they do not naturally break down, and are linked to #cancer, #KidneyDisease, #liver conditions, #immune disorders, #BirthDefects and other health problems.

“The chemicals are thought to be contaminating drinking water for over 200 million Americans. Tens of thousands of contaminated #PrivateWells are not included in the settlement. The chemicals are also widely used in thousands of consumer products from #DentalFloss to #cookware to #clothing, and have been found to #contaminate #food, #soil and #air.

“PFAS constantly cycle and accumulate throughout the environment, and removing them from water is costly. The highly mobile chemicals can slip through most utilities’ filtration systems. Granular activated carbon and reverse osmosis are considered the best options.

“Leaders in Stuart, Florida, which was the bellwether case in the 3M settlement, chose to take what they could get without further litigation. Bellwethers are cases that represent all the other plaintiffs in a multi-district lawsuit. Stuart estimated damages at up to $120m, and the city acknowledged the settlement would fall short.

“‘I don’t think we’ll ever get close to that much net to the city, so I think there is no making us whole,' Stuart’s city manager told the New York Times.

“Among those utilities going at it alone is the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) near Wilmington, North Carolina, which sits on the #CapeFear River about 75 miles downstream from a Chemours PFAS manufacturing plant. It cost the utility about $46m to develop a granular activated carbon system to remove PFAS, and officials estimate an additional $5m in annual operational costs.

“The utility declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation, but in a late June op-ed, the CFPUA director Kenneth Waldrop explained the motivation for not joining the settlements: 'The information currently available suggests that the proposed settlement, when divided among thousands of other utilities with similar needs, would be insufficient to meet the needs of our community.'

“The utility has a 'strong case' against Chemours which has the reserves to cover the full cost, Waldrop added. There is generally support for that approach among Wilmington-area residents, said Emily Donovan, a public health advocate who lives in the region.

“‘This is not our fault, but it has been made our problem, and the community mostly understands what’s going on,' she said.

“The settlements also drew unlikely opponents in 22 state attorneys general who urged the judge to reject the 3M settlement because it 'does not adequately account for the pernicious damage that 3M has done in so many of our communities', said the California attorney general, Rob Bonta.

“Beyond water utility settlements, chemical makers face personal injury suits. Most US states will also probably sue over #contamination of #lakes, #rivers and other #NaturalResources #Minnesota alone found eliminating PFAS contamination from its wastewater could run to $28bn.

“Local water systems that are not made whole will need help from the federal government, which 'basically abandoned public water infrastructure a long time ago', said Oday Salim, director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic at the University of Michigan.

“‘Any amount of money that gets shifted to the victims is helpful,' he added.
“The government could implement an excise tax on PFAS to help cover costs, McKie said, and he noted the chemical manufacturers are taking a significant hit. By some estimates, 3M’s PFAS liabilities may soar to as much as $30bn as claims roll in.
“‘That’s a pretty big chunk of the total size of their corporation,' McKie said."

#EPA #EPAFail #PFOS #WaterIsLife #ToxicWaste #ChemicalIndustries #ForeverChemicals

2 months ago

2022: #Maine bans use of sewage sludge on #farms to reduce risk of #PFAS poisoning

Sludge used as crop #fertilizer has #contaminated #soil, #water, #crops and #cattle, forcing #farmers to quit

by Tom Perkins, Thu 12 May 2022 11.00 EDT

"Maine last month became the first state to ban the practice of spreading PFAS-contaminated sewage sludge as fertilizer.

"But it’s largely on its own in the US, despite a recent report estimating about 20m acres of cropland across the country may be contaminated.

"Most states are only beginning to look at the problem and some are increasing the amount of sludge they spread on farm fields despite the substance being universally contaminated with PFAS and destroying livelihoods in Maine.

"'Maine is at the forefront of this because we’ve seen first-hand the damage that sludge causes to farms,' said Patrick MacRoy, deputy director of the non-profit Defend Our Health Maine. The new law also prohibits sludge from being composted with other organic material.

"PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of chemicals used across dozens of industries to make products resistant to water, stains and heat. Though the compounds are highly effective, they are also linked to #cancer, #KidneyDisease, #BirthDefects, decreased #immunity, #liver problems and a range of other serious diseases.

"Sewage sludge is a semi-solid mix of human excrement and industrial #waste that water treatment plants pull from the nation’s sewer system. It’s expensive to dispose of, and about 60% of it is now lightly treated and sold or given away as 'biosolid' fertilizer because it is high in plant nutrients.

"Maine and #Michigan are the only two states that are routinely checking sludge and farms for PFAS, and both are finding contamination on farms to be widespread.

"Maine’s legislature banned the practice of spreading sludge as fertilizer in April [2022] after environmental officials discovered astronomical levels of PFAS in water, crops, cattle and soil on farms where sludge had been spread, and high PFAS levels have been detected in farmers’ blood.

"#Contamination from PFAS-tainted sludge has already poisoned well water on around a dozen farms, and has forced several Maine farms to shutter. The state is investigating about 700 more fields where PFAS-contaminated sludge was spread in recent years. Farmers have told the Guardian that many of their peers with contaminated land won’t alert the state because they fear financial ruin.

"Maine also approved the creation of a $60m fund that will be used to help farmers cover medical monitoring, for buyouts and for other forms of financial assistance.

"'Folks have been left out to dry without any real help so we’re grateful to see that,' MacRoy said. The sludge legislation comes after Maine last year enacted the nation’s first ban on non-essential uses of PFAS in products. It goes into effect in 2030.

"In Michigan, environmental officials have downplayed the detection of PFAS in sludge and on farms, and although the state prohibits highly contaminated sludge from being spread, it allows higher levels of the chemicals in sludge than Maine. State regulators have also identified PFAS polluters and required them to stop discharging the chemicals into the sewers.

"Questions remain about whether that’s enough to keep PFAS out of Michigan’s food supply. Instead of implementing a wide-scale program to test livestock, crops and dairy, the state identified 13 farms it considered most at risk and has claimed contamination on other farms isn’t a risk.

"Michigan is ahead of most other states. In #Virginia, environmental regulators are considering permitting an additional 6,000 acres worth of sludge to be spread and have so far resisted public health advocates’ calls to test for PFAS and reject new sludge permits.

"In #Alabama, the state’s department of environmental management said in 2019 that 'the best use of biosolids is as a [fertilizer].'

"Even as the crisis unfolds in Maine, officials in Alabama are increasing the amount of out-of-state sludge that’s imported and spread on fields or landfilled, and the state in 2020 updated its biosolids rule to 'encourage' the use of #biosolids as fertilizer. Alabama does not test sludge for PFAS."

#EPA #EPAFail #InformedConsent #PFOS #WaterIsLife #ToxicWaste #FoodProduction

Dezene Huber 🌻
2 months ago

Nice analysis of #Canada's forests using large-scale and long-term #data:

"#Tree diversity increases decadal forest #soil carbon and nitrogen accrual" by Chen et al (2023)

Quote: "...#conserving and promoting functionally #diverse forests could promote soil carbon and #nitrogen storage, enhancing both #carbon sink capacity and soil nitrogen fertility."

This is increasingly important to consider we impose larger and more frequent #disturbances on #forest #ecosystems.


Quote from figure 1 (flow chart) heading: "Variables considered in the model include decadal changes in soil C and N stocks (‘ΔSoil C stock’ and ‘ΔSoil N stock’), aboveground primary productivity, tree species richness, evenness, functional diversity, CWM trait value, long-term averages of mean annual temperature (MAT), long-term averages of mean annual climate moisture index (CMI), stand age and initial soil C and N content."
Danielle Rose Baker
2 months ago

I discovered these lovely little soil-based watercolors by The Art of Soil last week—I love the story behind them, and a soil scientist making soil paints is the epitome of #SciArt is it not?? 😍 Looking forward to trying them out, will report back!

#watercolor #watercolour #watercolorArt #Geology #SoilScience #soil #MastoArt #MastoArtists #FediArt #MakeTimeForArt

A paper palette of soil-based watercolor paints seen as small hemispheres of pigment affixed within color-matched printed circles. Below this, two swatch cards of colors painted out from these, a small “The Art of Soil” sticker, and a paintbrush.
A paper palette of soil-based watercolor paints seen as small hemispheres of pigment affixed within color-matched printed circles. Below this, two swatch cards of colors painted out from these, a small “The Art of Soil” sticker, and a paintbrush.
A paper palette of soil-based watercolor paints seen as small hemispheres of pigment affixed within color-matched printed circles. Below this, two swatch cards of colors painted out from these.
2 months ago

Scientists sound the alarm over dramatic loss of 3 billion #birds in #NorthAmerica: ‘We’re watching … #extinction happen’

Story by Brittany Davies, July 14, 2023

"Since the 1970s, bird enthusiasts have watched the skies empty and heard the #birdsongs go silent as nearly 3 billion birds vanished in North America. Disturbed by the findings of an expansive body of research, scientists across the globe are sounding the alarm as half of the world’s bird populations are in decline.

"Found in every corner of the world from the snowy tundra of the #Arctic to the lush rainforests of the #Amazon, birds play a critical role in maintaining the delicate balance of their #ecosystems. Robust and diverse bird populations advance #pollination, help transport #seeds, and fertilize the #soil with their droppings.

"Observing and cataloging these fascinating creatures has long been a popular hobby and an important source of data for researchers and conservationists. Thanks in part to #CitizenScience reporting sites such as eBird, researchers have collected a wealth of information documenting the troubling decline of bird populations on nearly every continent.

"Peter Marra, a conservation biologist and dean of Georgetown University’s #EarthCommons Institute, and his colleagues studied multiple bird-monitoring datasets and found a disturbing trend. Using different methods to estimate population changes, Marra told Knowable Magazine, 'they all told us the same thing, which was that we’re watching the process of extinction happen.'"

However, the article goes on to say:

"Although the situation may seem dire, the news is not all bad. The tireless work of conservationists has restored numerous bird species from the edge of extinction, and populations of wetland species are increasing due in part to political action to protect their habitats. These stories of hope show that it is not impossible to reverse the decline.

"In addition to supporting wide-scale change and devoting resources to protecting #CriticalHabitats, restoring the bird population can begin in your local community and even your own #backyard. Take action at home by creating a #BirdSanctuary by growing #NativePlants and providing safe spaces for birds to eat, rest, and reproduce. Join a birding organization and participate in bird data collection.

"The knowledge shared across important crowd-sourced databases provides essential information to researchers on the state of birds."

#SilentSprings #CitizenScientists #ExtinctionRebellion

Read more:

2 months ago

Pesticides and herbicides are killing the planet. We have to change the way we farm, garden & grow crops

Just Stop Pesticides

#pesticides #herbicides #ecocide #biodiversityCrisis #farming #crops #agriculture #gardening #Allotment #insects #plants #soil

2 months ago

#Agriculture #Fertilizers #PlantNutrition #SoilScience #Soil

"to be a mineral, atoms must be arranged in a very specific, crystalline, structure"

Are these nanoparticle found in (some) soils?

If "yes", are the nutrients they contain available to the soil food chain, and are those nutrients adequately detected/measured in common soil tests?

Alan Kotok
3 months ago

Bio-Friendly Plant Nutrient Delivery Patent Awarded

A process for delivering nutrients for crop growth that its developers say is more sustainable than most fertilizer methods today received a U.S. patent.

#News #Press #Science #Business #Agriculture #Sustainable #CircularEconomy #Chemistry #Canada #Fertilizer #IntellectualProperty #Patent #USPTO #Inventors #Soil #Microbes #Microplastics

Seedlings in soil close-up
Brendan Jones
3 months ago

The EU this week introduced a soil law aimed to improve soil quality and sequester more carbon. 🌲 Definitely doesn't go far enough, but this is an exciting first step.

The legislation focusses on setting out a ‘definition of soil health’ as well as a ‘framework for soil health monitoring’.

The initial ambition was to give soil a protected status similar to that of air or water, but that didn't happen.

#biodiversity #soil #EU #agriculture #regenerativeagriculture

#Mushroom for carbon? There is underground

Scientists have discovered how a ‘jaw-dropping’ subterranean carbon sink made entirely of fungi pulls down more than a third of global #CO2 emissions each year – enough to cancel out China’s annual toll.

#Mycorrhiza fungi networks hold 13 gigatons of CO2, making them the “most effective #carbonCapture storage unit in the world,” according to experts at the University of Sheffield, UK, who led the study.

Researchers said that fungi deserves a better standing in conservation efforts, and called for #soil ecosystems to be preserved.

“Mycorrhizal fungi represent a blind spot in #carbon modelling, conservation, and restoration,” said Prof Katie Field, the study’s co-author. “The numbers we’ve uncovered are jaw-dropping. When we’re thinking about solutions for climate, we should also be thinking about what we can harness that exists already.”


European Commission
3 months ago

Soils are essential to our food security, yet less than 40% of EU soils are healthy.

Our proposed Soil Monitoring Law aims to ensure that all soils are healthy by 2050 by:

🌱 creating a coherent monitoring framework,

💧 making sustainable soil management the norm,

📍 urging countries to identify and investigate contaminated sites and address unacceptable risks for human #health & the #environment.

See our EU #soil Observatory →!PNRbBY

Learn more with our #EUDataCrunch 👇

Illustrative #EUDataCrunch graph with title 'Making EU Soils Healthier'. It compares the current state of EU soils at 40% healthy to the 2050 projection of all soils being healthy.  It states that healthy soils support our health and protect against droughts, wildfires and flooding. 'Soils provide 95% of our food, yet many soils are unhealthy' appears in the top left corner.
Kathy Reid
3 months ago

Hi folx! It's been a minute since I did one of my #ConnectionList #Introduction #TwitterMigration posts, where I hand-pick accounts that you might like to follow, using my reach to more richly connect the #Fediverse :fediverse:

Dr @josephguillaume is a #researcher at the @ANUFennerSchool where he specialises in #model-based #science and #decision support. Joseph was a key contributor to the @AlgFuturesLab series of workshops 👋 🇦🇺

@ANUResearch is a new arrival to #Mastodon - great to see #ANU have an official presence here! This account posts about #research and #TechnologyTransfer and #ResearchTranslation 👋 🇦🇺

Dr @michealaxelsen is a Senior Lecturer in #InformationSystems at UQ #UniQueensland 👋 🇦🇺

Prof Janet Vertesi @cyberlyra is a #professor of #sociology at #Princeton @princeton specialising in #STS 👋 🇺🇸

@erici is a #soil #science student in #Naarm / #Melbourne, who is interested in #Microbiology and #BioInformatics 👋 🇦🇺

Professor Anne Pasek @Aepasek is a Professor at #TrentUniversity where she specialises in #ClimateChange, #DigitalInfrastructure and #EnergyPolitics 👋 🇨🇦

Dr @katrinagrant is an #ArtHistorian and #DigitalHumanities #researcher at #ANU, interested in #maps, #GLAM, #landscapes, #gardens and #museums 👋 🇦🇺

@datasociety is the non-profit #research institute that studies the social implications of #data-centric technologies and #automation #STS 👋

That's all for today!

Andy Baker
3 months ago

Here's what has been happening in the SW corner of Australia over recent decades.

The #stalagmites in the caves have changed in their oxygen isotope composition.

This oxygen comes originally from the oxygen in the #rain water, but that hasn't changed over time. So the stalagmites are telling us that there has been a change in how that water gets underground. We provide evidence that this is due to decreased rainfall.

Hydrology models show that #soil water content has also decreased, #rainfall amount is decreasing and #groundwater levels are falling.

All of this is attributed to #climate change, as the westerly circulation that brings rain to these latitudes gradually moves south.

#climatechange #hydrology #caves #geology #environment #science

Five graphs showing changes from 1910 to 2020 on the horizontal axis. From the top: the stalagmite oxygen isotope record; the annual total rainfall; the rainfall oxygen isotope composition; the soil water content; groundwater level.
Trash Robot
4 months ago

suppose you take #cardboard #trash and cut it and glue it into a cube. then you put some soil in the cube and do some kind of experiment. You could grow #worms, do a compost, grow #mushrooms build a battery from trash, grow the beginning of a tree, and possibly stack the cube with other cubes in a whole system of cubes. then you take videos of your results and put them all on a #peertube instance you host on laptops from the trash. You replicate this to millions of people, all hosting peer tube instances and uploading video results of their soil in trash cube experiments. that's a lot of data on what we can do with soil in cubes. we have goals we want from this, vegetables and mushrooms to grow, systems to get working. We can create algorithms which read in the video data and crunch on it to create summaries which people can use as a feedback loop to get the cubes working like they want. initially, this "#algorithm" is just #gardening enthusiasts watching and making their own videos. But as we scale we can add more trash servers which host software that automates more and more of the tasks.

this would be the internet of #soil.

it begins with a self-replicating 4 inch cardboard square, which replicates here:

CelloMom On Cars
4 months ago

"Armed with drones, [#indigenous women in #Guyana] are scanning #mangrove forests for illegal cutting and expect to soon start collecting #soil samples and mangrove litter to measure the #carbon held in remote coastal ecosystems that have long been out of reach for scientists. Such data could nudge the government to create policies and programs to protect critical areas."


Dr. Nancy Wayne ✅
4 months ago

This BBC radio show is worth 30 minutes of your time if you are interested in or curious about regenerative #farming as a way to grow #food sustainably and save our #soil. Farmer and author of “The Shepherd’s Life” and “Pastoral Song”, James Rebanks takes us on a brief journey across the UK and USA to discuss with other farmers the success of their regenerative farming approaches.
Click here for the radio show, “Could I Regenerate My Farm to Save the Planet?”:

4 months ago

@openculture These drawings of plant root systems are extraordinarily detailed.

#AltText A fine detailed cross section drawing of plant above ground and it’s root system below ground with a scale showing the depth in cm of the roots.

The sheer volume of soil covered by the combination of plant roots and mycorrhizal fungi is staggering.

#SoilHealth #Plants #Soil #Biodiversity