We are used to traveling by car, train or airplane, instantly getting in touch through messengers, and shopping online. Modern technology has created an almost invisible natural habitat for many, but there is also a downside.
Our extensive use of natural resources affects their availability and quality. Technology helps us to create things, while upsetting what we cannot create, the Earth’s nature. You are probably wondering what soil has to do with it. All changes are imprinted in the soil, which, like a mirror, reflects everything that happens around. By studying the soil, we learn about how climate evolved over time, where and how ancient people lived and how their economy worked. We can also track industrial developments and declines in crops and unravel other mysteries of the past, present and, perhaps, even the future. Availability of food and clean fresh water, quality of life, support of the disadvantaged population groups, the patterns of climate change and life on Earth depend on soil health. What further threats are posed by the pollution of the biosphere and how to fix the ecosystems once harm has been done? How to track changes in soil quality and should we worry about preserving soils now? Can soils help predict our future?
Polina Tregubova, PhD in Biology, is a research scientist at the Skoltech Research Center in Artificial Intelligence in the Direction of Optimization of Management Decisions to Reduce the Carbon Footprint.