Soil degradation is the decline in soil quality caused by its improper use, usually for agricultural, pastural, industrial or urban purposes. Deserts are examples of extremely degraded soil areas, while the southern United States contains very fertile soil areas.
Common examples of soil degradation include erosion, loss of organic matter, declining fertility, excessive flooding and the effects of toxic chemicals and pollutants. There have been many links between climate change and the soil conditions of land areas. Because of these links and the risks involved, many governments are creating programs to aid in the restoration and preservation of soil conditions.