Simulations highlight “messy” Mars landings

Researchers aim to update Apollo-era information about rocket-powered landings on dusty celestial bodies like Mars with new supercomputer simulations.

Jim Lynch-Michigan • futurity
July 31, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: physics soil mars spacecraft science-and-technology dust

An effective climate change solution may lie in rocks beneath our feet

To avoid global warming on a catastrophic scale, nations need to reduce emissions and find ways to pull carbon from the air. One promising solution: spreading rock dust on farm fields.

Benjamin Z. Houlton, Professor of Global Environmental Studies, Chancellor's Fellow and Director, John Muir Institute of the Environment, University of California, Davis • conversation
July 16, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: climate-change soil carbon-dioxide nutrients minerals carbon-cycle rocks negative-emissions paris-climate-accord negative-emissions-technologies

How to manage plant pests and diseases in your victory garden

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted interest in home gardening. Three scientists who garden explain some basic methods for controlling common insects and microbes that can spoil your crop.

Carolee Bull, Professor of Plant Pathology and Systematic Bacteriology, Pennsylvania State University • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: bacteria covid-19 insects soil plants fungi viruses integrated-pest-management gardening nematodes weeds land-grant-universities plant-health victory-garden

City compost programs turn garbage into 'black gold' that boosts food security and social justice

Turning food scraps and yard trimmings into compost improves soil, making it easier for people to grow their own food. City composting programs spread those benefits more widely.

Sue Ishaq, Assistant Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Maine • conversation
June 11, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: climate-change soil microbes compost methane food-waste soil-carbon seattle gardening san-francisco social-justice equity landfills

It's time to rethink the disrupted US food system from the ground up

There's growing interest in making the US food system more resilient and flexible, but soil – the origin of nearly everything we eat – is often left out of the picture.

Sarah M. Collier, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington • conversation
June 5, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: sustainability climate-change agriculture soil dust-bowl erosion food-systems food-sustainability soil-health soil-degradation postpandemic-future

Method can measure gene-silencing pesticide in soil

New pesticides that give plants their own defenses against insects are headed to market. A new method is the first to detect them in dirt.

Brandie Jefferson-WUSTL • futurity
May 11, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: soil rna pesticides plants earth-and-environment

When water vapor blows in, dry soil gets rain?

New research clarifies the role of water vapor in rainfall, a complex relationship that remains mysterious.

Mikayla Mace-Arizona • futurity
May 11, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: water soil rain weather wind science-and-technology

Here's why soil smells so good after it rains

That smell you detect after it rains is part of a chemical language between bacteria and animals.

Paul Becher, Associate professor in Chemical Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences • conversation
April 8, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  bacteria  soil  ecology  antibiotics  chemical-compounds  invertebrates

New test is a better gauge of how much nitrogen corn needs

A better test for gauging nitrogen needs in corn fields could mean economic benefits for farmers and be better for the environment, too.

Fred Love-Iowa State • futurity
March 10, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: machine-learning soil nitrogen farmers earth-and-environment corn

PFAS chemicals are creeping through soil to groundwater

"...the majority of PFAS are still in the soil, and they are migrating down slowly in a way similar to a ticking time bomb."

Mikayla Mace-Arizona • futurity
Feb. 12, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: pollution water soil earth-and-environment health-and-medicine

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