In this piece for The Conversation, Dan Evans, PhD researcher in soil science at Lancaster University, explains his research on rates of soil formation and erosion. His measurements on a farm in Nottinghamshire, UK suggest that the top 30 cm of soil there could disappear within 138 years because the rate of erosion exceeds the rate of soil formation.
On the global scale, soil erosion due to intensive agriculture could threaten the ability of soils to store nutrients, water and carbon. Evans outlines measures that can conserve soil, such as planting crops in rows across a hill instead of down it, planting trees, and using cover crops.
Read the full piece, Soil is our best ally in the fight against climate change – but we’re fast running out of it, here. See also the Foodsource chapter Food systems and contributions to other environmental problems.