Natural science explained easily on GondwanaTalks, the online magazine for science dummies and anyone fascinated by nature.

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Spain loses nearly 1.4 million tonnes of good earth every day due to soil erosion. The country is heading for a disaster like the one that hit North America in the 1930s: the Dust Bowl. Winds blew away the topsoil and what was left was a wasteland where nothing could grow. In Spain, all the ingredients of the lethal...

The Zambezi is one of Africa's largest rivers, but that wasn't always so. It used to be a small river on the coast of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. Like an advancing front the Zambezi captured inland rivers, creating a huge catchment area that reaches almost to the Atlantic Ocean. The natural wonder of Victoria Falls is the living proof...

Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe thanks to its fertile soils known as Chernozems. This 'good black earth' is among the most productive soils in the world, a fact Russians are well aware of. Russia has a long tradition of soil science, and its experts have made significant contributions to the field. If the Russia aim to conquer Ukraine, the...

Nitrogen is crucial to life because it is a building block of amino acids, proteins and DNA. But it turns out that half of the nitrogen in our tissues does not come from nature, but rather from factories, because humanity is interfering with the natural nitrogen cycle. To make crops grow faster, we produce nitrogenous fertilizers on an industrial...

The problem of increasing soil salinity poses major challenges to farmers and scientists worldwide. Throughout the world, the acreage of salt-affected soils is expanding as a result of decades of mismanagement and industrial agriculture. Most crops do not tolerate salt. Food security and the proper functioning of ecosystem services are therefore at...

La Palma is composed entirely of volcanoes, and so are the six other Canary Islands. We explore the geological panorama in which this archipelago has formed and why it is both terrifying and attractive for its people, tourism and food production.

It was only a matter of time before La Palma's volcano would erupt. Most people have never heard of the Cumbre Vieja - literally, the old mountain ridge - yet it is one of the most active volcanoes in the Canaries, and in Europe. And with each eruption it becomes painfully clear how destruction and renewal, and fascination and terror,...

Throughout the last 20 years, one planet after the other has been discovered beyond the Solar System. Over 4,000 exoplanets are known by 2021. This is exciting in itself, but the key question is: what are we looking for on these planets? The answer is almost as old as humanity. We want to discover life beyond Earth, or places where...

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People once believed that the continents had always been in the same place. In the late nineteenth century, this idea came under fire. Explorers found indications of a more turbulent past. The idea of the continental drift was born, but it took a hundred years before the ultimate proof was delivered.

— Featured article —

Lapis lazuli: Via the Silk Road to Tutankhamun.

An article by Kathelijne Bonne

From high mountain peaks to the pharaohs.

How precious stone lapis lazuli found its way from the world's most ancient mines to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, and to the canvases of the great painters, has been documented extensively. Discover how lapis lazuli formed, as it crystallized in seams of precious rocks in the midst of plate tectonic turmoil. 



Photo: géry60 on Foter.com / CC BY-ND

What is Gondwana?

The inspiration came from the great, lost continent of Gondwana. Gondwana was the land area in which all southern continents were once united into one great supercontinent. When it formed, life had exploded into a myriad of life forms and had risen from a mainly microscopic bacterial world to a world in which animals and plants came to dominate. When Gondwana fell apart, and continents drifted away, new, isolated life forms emerged, of which the peculiar fauna and flora of Australia are the best, but not the only, example.

GondwanaTalks is an online magazine on the natural world, for a wide audience. 

 

 










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