Soil quality matters

What if the world’s soil runs out?  Time/World explored this question in a “what if” interview about soil quality.

The subject? Seismic implications of soil erosion and degradation.  The focus? The quality of soil related to water conservation, food production, and other degradation impacts.

But a referenced study was even more thought-provoking.  It said between 1961 and 2003, 42% of observed sea-level rise could be linked to groundwater extraction.  Water from irrigation and other groundwater uses eventually flows to the rivers and streams.  These waterways feed the oceans.

Runoff is an indicator of depleted soil.

Rebuilding soil organic matter reduces water consumption,  stormwater runoff, and pollutant loads.  It cuts the use of agricultural chemicals, too.

Even issues not normally linked to compost use, like energy consumption, can improve.