Nuclear Techniques: A solution to minimize land degradation and save the soil!

National Geographic explores Planet Earth: By the Numbers – Saving Soil Land degradation is a worldwide threat currently affecting 1.9 billion hectares globally that affects around 65% of the soil resources. Soil erosion is the main contributor (85%) to such land degradation with an economic cost of US $400 billion per year. To ensure sustainable agricultural management there is a clear need to quantify the magnitude of soil erosion and to determine in the landscape ‘source’ of land degradation which can be obtained by nuclear techniques of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) and Compound Specific Stable Isotopes (CSSI).

The Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition (SWMCN) Sub-programme of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, has strengthened national & regional capacities in using these nuclear techniques and has disseminated through international co-operation in research, training and other outreach activities in 65 IAEA Member States.

The December 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine highlights how nuclear techniques help to assess and minimize this worldwide threat.

National Geographic - Saving Soil [pdf]

Photo Credit: Kelsey Rae Nowakowski/National Geographic Creative