Soil is our best ally in the fight against climate change – but we’re fast running out of it

Measuring soil formation at an arable farm in Nottinghamshire, UK, we estimated that the uppermost 30 centimetres could be eroded in as little as 138 years, with the underlying sandstone bedrock emerging in 212 years. This may not seem like an urgent crisis. But given that these soils have been functioning for the last 10,000 years, this projection could be the final 1% of their lifespan.

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