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Climate change: Rise in sea-level is making soil saltier, affecting crops

As sea levels rise, low-lying coastal areas are increasingly being inundated with saltwater, gradually contaminating the soil

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Salt is essential for cooking, but too much salt in soil can ruin crops and render fields useless. According to legend, Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus sowed the soils of Carthage with salt after conquering the city during the Punic Wars. And after defeating the Italian town of Palestrina in 1298, Pope Boniface VIII is said to have plowed its lands with salt, “so that nothing, neither man nor beast be called by that name.”
Today it would be very expensive and logistically challenging to gather enough salt to render large swaths of land infertile.

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First Published: Nov 30 2018 | 4:54 PM IST

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