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What is soil erosion?
It is the wearing away of soil over time by wind or water.
Do humans have anything to do with soil erosion?
Yes. Though soil erosion happens naturally, human activities like farming and deforestation speed up erosion. These human activities cause:
Vegetation that protects the soil to be removed, leaving the soil open to erosion.
Soil to become weaker and less stable.
Areas of land that used to be able to grow plants no longer being able to.
How serious is the problem of soil erosion?
Very serious. Because of human activities that cause erosion to happen faster, 1/5 of the topsoil from the worlds farming land and 1/5 of the topsoil from tropical forests has been destroyed. As well as this, 10.5% of the planet's most healthy soils - an area the size of China and India combined - have been seriously damaged.
Can't we live without soil?
It would be very hard to. This is because:
Soil is what we use to grow our food on. The less healthy soil there is, the less food we can grow.
The quality of water becomes worse with soil erosion. We need clean, drinkable water to survive.
Soil erosion means that fewer trees can be grown. Land without trees means there is more carbon dioxide in the air, which causes global warming.
What can you do to help?
Ask your parents to support organic farming by buying organic foods and encouraging shops in your area to stock organic food.
It is up to us to help save the soil we need to survive!