Global soil erosion by water in 2070

Land use and climate change impacts on global soil erosion by water (2015-2070). This dataset includes the baseline scenario (2015) and the future projections (2070) of soil erosion based on land use changes and climate change effects.
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Land use and climate change impacts on global soil erosion by water (2015-2070)

We use the latest projections of climate and land use change to assess potential global soil erosion rates by water to address policy questions; working towards the goals of the United Nations working groups under the Inter-Governmental Technical Panel on Soils of the Global Soil Partnership. This effort will enable policy makers to explore erosion extent, identify possible hotspots, and work with stakeholders to mitigate potential impacts. In addition, we also provide insight into the potential mitigating effects attributable to conservation agriculture and the need for more effective policy instruments for soil protection. Scientifically, the modeling framework presented adopts a series of methodological advances and standardized data to communicate with adjacent disciplines and move towards robust, reproducible and open data science.

Main highlights

  • Modelled area: 143 million Km2 which is about ~95.5% of Earth's land
  • Resolution: 25Kmx 25Km2
  • Global Coverage: 202 countries included in the study
  • Three alternative (2.6, 4.5 & 8.5) Shared Socioeconomic Pathway and Representative Concentration Pathway (SSP-RCP) scenarios
  • 14 General Climate Circulation Models (GCMs) used to assess future rainfall erosivity scenarios
  • The baseline model (2015) predicts global potential soil erosion rates of 43 (-7, +9.2)  Pg yr-1
  • Climate projections indicate an overall trend moving towards a more vigorous hydrological cycle, which could increase global water erosion up to more than +60% (SSP5-RCP8.5).


Borrelli P., Robinson D.A., Panagos P., Lugato E., Yang J.E., Alewell C., Wuepper D., Montanarella L., Ballabio C. 2020. Land use and climate change impacts on global soil erosion by water (2015-2070)Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 117(36), 21994–22001; doi: 10.1073/pnas.2001403117

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