Climate change can’t be halted if we carry on degrading the soil, a report will say.
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 fuelling 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.
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, which is meeting this week, aims to get all the world’s governments singing from the same sheet about the need to protect natural systems.