When It Rains, It Pours…and Increases Soil Erosion Potential in a Changing Climate

 
When It Rains, It Pours…and Increases Soil Erosion Potential in a Changing Climate

Anyone who has seen a gully carved by water flowing over land or a muddied creek following a rainstorm has witnessed soil erosion. Beyond its messiness, water-caused soil erosion can have far reaching impacts. When nutrients and organic matter in soils are washed away, decreased soil fertility affects food production, sediment entering streams and rivers threatens water quality and wildlife, shifting soils create unstable land conditions in ecosystems and communities, and disturbed soils with reduced carbon storage abilities can contribute to global warming. In a changing climate with altered precipitation patterns, some areas in the United States may be particularly vulnerable to increased soil erosion and these related problems. Eastern Threat Center researchers and partners at North Carolina State University have identified these areas in a recently published study. Read more in CompassLive...

Pictured: Roots are exposed due to soil erosion during a flooding event. Soil erosion can create unstable land conditions in ecosystems and communities. Photo by Randy Cyr, Greentree, Bugwood.org.

 

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