Two Londoners are taking part in a 900-mile cycle from Edinburgh to the capital in order to highlight the impending environmental crisis often underreported.
Volunteers from the Save Soil movement, which is backed by the World Food Programme, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum began the Cycle for Soil journey in Scotland on November 20.
Soil contains three times that amount of carbon in the atmosphere and removes an estimated 25 per cent of fossil fuel emission each year, experts say.
If soil degradation continues at current rates, however, they could emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the world’s total emissions over the last 30 years combined.
“So much of life depends on soil, be it a human or a mushroom. Infertile soil suggests a sick planet.
“How about no healthy trees to breath or wheat to eat or hops to drink. This journey feels like something I can do to draw attention to our soil situation,” Nanou, a writer and artist from London told the Evening Standard.
Volunteer Henry Asplin added: “I’m riding to help raise awareness that, if we don’t do anything right now, we may barely have any agricultural soil left in a few decades time.
“We can avoid a crisis if we come together now and raise our voices for a concrete soil health policy.
“Save Soil is about supporting governments in this direction - citizens just need to say they want it.”
Due to overfarming, deforestation, and overgrazing, 52 per cent of the earth’s soil has already been degraded. At current rates, 90 per cent will be degraded by 2050.
Overall, the earth’s soil has already lost 50 to 70 per cent of the carbon they once held, experts have said.
If not stopped, due to soil degradation, up to 850 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide could be released into the atmosphere.
Not only will this large emission of carbon dioxide contribute to global warming, but the soil will be so eroded, that by 204 the world will produce 40 per cent less food for a population expected to reach approximately 9.3 billion people.