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Articles on Soil

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Wireless sensors and data systems can help farmers use water much more efficiently by monitoring soil conditions. Lance Cheung/USDA via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Farmers can save water with wireless technologies, but there are challenges – like transmitting data through mud

The Agricultural Internet of Things is making farming more efficient. An information technology expert describes some of the challenges of working with sensors and antennas underground.
Although it is important to have a diversity of tree species in urban landscapes, planting and protecting taller species should be strongly encouraged. (Shutterstock)

Large trees are essential for healthy cities

There is a growing interest in planting small trees in urban areas. However, large trees have significant advantages.
Permafrost and ice wedges have built up over millennia in the Arctic. When they thaw, they destabilize the surrounding landscape. Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Thawing permafrost is roiling the Arctic landscape, driven by a hidden world of changes beneath the surface as the climate warms

Ground is collapsing and massive lakes are draining in a matter of days. Thawing permafrost is having profound effects on the region and its infrastructure.
A 32-year-old forest on former pastureland in northeastern Costa Rica. Robin Chazdon

Tropical forests can recover surprisingly quickly on deforested lands – and letting them regrow naturally is an effective and low-cost way to slow climate change

As governments and corporations pledge to help the planet by planting trillions of trees, a new study spotlights an effective, low-cost alternative: letting tropical forests regrow naturally.
Companies’ net-zero pledges count on vast expanses of forest to hold carbon so they can continue emitting. AFP via Getty Images

Forests can’t handle all the net-zero emissions plans – companies and countries expect nature to offset too much carbon

Yes, trees and soils can absorb and store carbon, but the carbon doesn’t stay stored forever. That’s one of the problems with how net-zero plans for the climate are being designed.
Parts of Lake Elsinore, California, were overrun with muddy floodwater after a storm hit the Holy Fire burn scar in 2018. Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Digital First Media/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images

Wildfire burn scars can intensify and even create thunderstorms that lead to catastrophic flooding – here’s how it works

An atmospheric scientist and sailplane pilot describes why large areas of burned land can produce clouds and rainstorms.

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