Soil erosion accelerates climate change, impacting 3.2 billion people, UN report claims

soil

There’s three times more carbon in the soil than in the atmosphere – but that carbon’s being released by deforestation and poor farming. This is fueling climate change – and compromising our attempts to feed a growing world population, the authors will say.

Problems include soils being eroded, compacted by machinery, built over, or harmed by over-watering. Hurting the soil affects the climate in two ways: it compromises the growth of plants taking in carbon from the atmosphere, and it releases soil carbon previously stored by worms taking leaf matter underground.

erosion map v nc

The warning will come from the awkwardly-named IPBES – the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – a panel studying the benefits of nature to humans. The body….aims to get all the world’s governments singing from the same sheet about the need to protect natural systems. IPBES will formally release its report on Monday 6 May.

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About 3.2 billion people worldwide are suffering from degraded soils, said IPBES chairman Prof Sir Bob Watson. “That’s almost half of the world population….We are losing from the soil the organic carbon and this undermines agricultural productivity and contributes to climate change….”

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Read full, original article: Climate change being fuelled by soil damage – report

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