Madagascar bleeding to death?

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 6:18 AM

Is it true that a body of land could actualy bleed to death? Well if your talking about "bleeding" in the human sense then no, but if we're talking about bleeding in the soil sense than...yes. Madagascar is a country that relies heavily on its agriculture as a foundation for its economy. Deforestation in Madagascars central highlands has caused massive wide spread soil erosion, which in turn leads to water erosion. This water erosion is what astronauts are calling "the bleeding effect". When viewed from space, appears reddish in color and looks as if the island of Madagascar is...well bleeding.

This soil loss due to deforestation in Madagascar for about the last 50 years has resulted in a very costly 112 cubic tons per acre in some regions. And for a country that relies on its agriculture as a means for economic, thats devestating! Of course a bad situation is made worse with the seasonal tropical storms which bring heavy rainfalls. This bleeding of soil is also causing problems on the coastlines. The soil is actualy so thick along the Betsiboka estuary that, ocean going ships which used to be able to travel up the water way, are now blocked due to sediment build-up. Those ships are now forced to berth at the coastline.

These problems are of growing concern especialy to developing nations which also rely on heavy aquaculture projects, the sediment blocking and damaging the coastal regions makes it difficult and in some areas impossible.

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