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Black soil and Climate Change: China Faces Worst Crop Conditions Ever

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences estimate that soybean production will fall by 40% to 60% and corn would barely grow in the region if — in the most extreme scenario — all its black soil (click to know more) is stripped away, no matter how much fertilizer is used. Against the backdrop of climate change, global trade disputes and, now, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Beijing has intensified its focus on food security, including efforts to protect the country’s most precious soil. By 2025, China plans to improve the organic matter in nearly 6.7 million hectares of black soil by 10%. It’s a good start, but would still be well below the levels enjoyed in the 1950s. Black soil exists in only a few places in the world — in central Eurasia and especially Ukraine, and in the Red River Valley in the U.S. and Canada — and it’s so potent that occasionally criminals are busted for black-market trafficking in the stuff. In China, the fertile soil is a product of the region’s geography and its special history. Long, cold winters slow microbial decomposition, preserving much of the organic matter in the soil. And during the Qing Dynasty, the ruling Manchus fiercely protected their native regions, allowing the layer of black soil to grow undisturbed. Click on the image to learn more, Bloomberg article.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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