Carbon budget in the EU agricultural soils

Cumulative C budget over the period 2016-20100 in the EU agricultural soils under the accelerated and current soil erosion scenarios.
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Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

C budget in the EU agricultural soils including lateral C fluxes

Soil play a significant environmental role in balancing the climate as it currently acts as a carbon sink, sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere into soil organic carbon. Using a new biogeochemistry-erosion model to quantify the impact of future climate on the carbon cycle, the authors track the possible transformations of the organic carbon across the landscape. Taking into account all the additional feedbacks and C fluxes due to displacement by erosion, the authors of this study estimated a net source of 0.92 to 10.1 Tg C year−1 from agricultural soils in the European Union to the atmosphere over the period 2016–2100. These ranges represented a weaker and stronger C source compared to a simulation without erosion (1.8 Tg C year−1), respectively, and were dependent on the erosion-driven C loss parameterization, which is still very uncertain.

Spatial Coverage: European Union EU-28
Resolution: 1km x 1km
Time Reference: 2016 - 2100
Format: raster format (GEOTIFF)
Projection: ETRS_1989_LAEA_L52_M10
Input data: Soil organic carbon stocks, Erosion factor, future Rainfall erosivity
More information: Soil erosion and carbon
Release Date: 26/11/2018

The methodology and the results of this study are explained in the recent published paper.

The dataset is composed of 5 folders:

  • AE_e: accelerated erosion under ‘e’ model configuration
  • AE_r: accelerated erosion under ‘r’ model configuration
  • CE_e: current erosion under ‘e’ model configuration
  • CE_r: current erosion under ‘r’ model configuration
  • NE_: no erosion simulation

In each folder are present two raster files:

  • C_flux_ER.tif: simulated fluxes in eroding areas
  • C_flux_DEP.tif: simulated fluxes in depositional areas

In C_flux_ER.tif, the following variables are present as a raster layers:

  • Layer 1: above ground biomass removed (beside harvested product)
  • Layer 2: mineral N applied (kg/ha/y)
  • Layer 3: C eroded (CE)
  • Layer 4: net primary productivity (NPP)  
  • Layer 5: crop yield (in dry matter)
  • Layer 6: C input (CI)
  • Layer 7: C respiration (CH)
  • Layer 8: C subsoil upward  (CS)
  • Layer 9: DOC

In C_flux_DEP.tif, the following layers differs:

  • Layer 2: soil deposited (in cm)
  • Layer 3: C buried (CB)
  • Layer 8: C deposited  (CD)

Fluxes are expressed as [Mg C ha-1 y-1] over the period 2016-2100 (unless differently indicated).


In order to fully understand the dataset, please, refer to the methods in the paper: link

An R script is provided to generate the C budget as in figure 2.

For any question or further requests, please contact:

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