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Source: Pixabay

China Researchers Find Way To Transform Deserts Into Fertile Land

By Brian Spaen

Climate change has resulted in the ongoing desertification throughout China. Land degradation happens at a rate of 1,300 square miles per year, and it’s resulted in village residents having to relocate when their home becomes an arid wasteland. Fortunately, scientists have been hard at work to reverse this trend, and they’ve developed ways to turn patches of desert into fertile land.

Scientists at Chongqing Jiaotong University have created a paste that’s made from the same substance found in plant cell walls. Made from a sodium carboxymethyl cellulose solution, this creates support and protection for the plants to grow. When the paste is combined with sand in an arid environment, it’s still able to keep water and nutrients for growth.

According to the school’s report, they’ve been working on the experiment since 2013. They determined that there wasn’t much difference between the “soilized” sand they created and natural soil when it comes to “mechanical properties and ecological attributes.” Therefore, they combined layers of sand, gravel, and the “soilized” sand to test out growth. During two periods of harvest each year, they saw crops of corn, potatoes, and other various plants.