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

The Conversation
The Conversation logo

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. But that is precisely what climate change is doing in many parts of the world.

As sea levels rise, low-lying coastal a


Also Read

Rising sea levels could flood many World Heritage sites in future: Study

IPCC report: India to be highly impacted by climate change, says CSE

How to save the world from climate change? Eating less meat is one option

Sea food exporters hit following lower realisation, higher cost

Rising sea levels may cost $14 trillion worldwide annually by 2100: Experts

Heatwave death threat to world's vulnerable, hurting India's workforce

2018 set to be fourth warmest in 138-yrs of climate record keeping: Report

Global warming: Ageing, urban population vulnerable to heat-related death

Assam's teenage girl takes on Donald Trump for global warming tweet

US deals a small blow to Paris climate change agreement before key meeting

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

Explore News

To read the full story, subscribe to BS Premium now, at just Rs 249/ month.

Key stories on are available only to BS Premium subscribers. Already a BS Premium subscriber?LOGIN NOW

Register to