One-Third of Topsoil Is Gone From Midwestern Farmland

One-Third of Topsoil Is Gone From Midwestern Farmland

New research shows that fertile, carbon-rich topsoil is completely gone from one-third of all farmland in the Midwest, severely impairing crop growth and future harvests. 

Why This Matters: Experts say this “growing” problem is mostly due to over-tilling the soil and other unsustainable farming practices.

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Despite Sea Level Rise, Some Small Islands Are Expanding

Despite Sea Level Rise, Some Small Islands Are Expanding

Researchers studying climate change have found that despite sea-levels rising, some islands are growing faster and are able to stay ahead of the ocean.  Atolls — islands that are situated within rings of coral reefs — are formed by sediments shed by the reefs around them.  Scientists believe that many atolls in the Pacific will disappear in the decades to come because of sea-level rise.

Why This Matters:  This research, funded in part by the U.S. Geological Survey, shows that natural systems can adapt in the face of momentous changes — the sea level at Jeh Island is rising much more each year than in most parts of the world.

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