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Flashcards in Soil Erosion Deck (10):

% of China’s soil and arable land that showed contamination

2000-2013 16.1% and 19.4%


Top pollutants of soil

Cadmium, nickel and arsenic
Gets into crops due to factory leakages
Harmful if we consume as cadmium damages kidneys


Soil pollution prevention action plan

Set up to have 90% of polluted farmland usable by 2020.
To regularly disclose data to public, so they’re aware of dangers of soil contamination.
Heavy metals are a major cause to problem so use other resources.
Illegal dumping of waste from factories due to no enforcement of the law


Causes of soil erosion

Overgrazing - major cause of desertification. Grazing and trampling and wind. More vulnerable to erosion.
Overcultivation- yields decreasing season by season requiring expansion of areas to be cultivated simply to maintain. Same return on agricultural investment.
Deforestation - land cleared to extend areas under Cultivation - absence of roof systems and loss of vegetation allows easy removal of soil and rain splash erosion


Soil contamination causes

Excessive fertiliser use
Polluted water
Heavy metals contaminate 12 million tonnes of grain each year-> annual losses of $2.6 billion
Rapid economic growth
Extensive industrial development and high pollutant emissions suffering deteriorating land quality.


Soil contamination effects

Destroys ecosystems by getting into food chains
82.8% or polluted land was contaminated by inorganic material
Millions or hectares of farmland could be withdrawn from production cuz of severer pollution by heavy metals


Soil erosion env effects

4.5 billion tonnes of soil scoured away each year costing approx £20 billion in this decade alone
Decrease in farmland activity cuz of loss of soil nutrients through wind and water erosion.
Each year another 180,000 hectares of farmland becomes Salinized. Causing productivity to fall by 27-57%
Almost 1/3 of China’s has become desert.


Soil erosion social effects

Loss of trad knowledges and skills
Forced migration due to food scarcity.
Social tensions in reception areas
Almost 100 million peaople in SW China will lose the land they live on within 35 yrs if soil erosion continues at its current rate


Economic effect

Reduced income for trad. Economy
Decreased availability of fuel/wood
Increased rural poverty
Causes annual direct economic losses of $6.5 billion


Soil erosion solutions

Improve stock quality - vaccination programmes and intro of better breeds - yields of meat and wool will increase without increasing herd size which causes overgrazing.
Use feritlisers to double yields and graze over wider areas reduce soil damage.
Improve farming methods - use crop rotation irrigation and grain storage to reduce pressure on land but there’s a risk of crop failure
Use agroforestry to avoid deforestation. Combines agriculture with forestry allowing farmer to continue cropping while using trees for fuel and timber. Trees protect shade and fertilise soil