One huge source of soil ruin is synthetic nitrogen use. Once seen as a good deed for the environment, because it was thought that synthetic nitrogen helped build carbon in soil, now is viewed a bit differently and not in a good way. A team researchers from the University of Illinois argue that the net effect of synthetic nitrogen use is to reduce soil’s organic matter content. As organic matter dissipates, soil’s ability to store organic nitrogen declines. A large amount of nitrogen then leaches away, fouling ground water in the form of nitrates, and entering the atmosphere as nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas with some 300 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide.
Soil degradation is the result of both natural causes and human land usage.
Here is a list of the three main culprits:
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