Future climate variability impacts on potential erosion and soil organic carbon in European croplands

van der Velde M, Balkovič J, Beer C, Khabarov N, Kuhnert M, Obersteiner M, Skalsky R, Xiong W, et al. (2014). Future climate variability impacts on potential erosion and soil organic carbon in European croplands. Biogeosciences 11: 1561-1585. DOI:10.5194/bgd-11-1561-2014.

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Abstract

We investigate the impact of future climate variability on the potential vulnerability of soils to erosion and the consequences for soil organic carbon (SOC) in European croplands. Soil erosion is an important carbon flux not characterized in Earth System Models. We use a European implementation of EPIC, driven by reference climate data (CNTRL), and climate data with reduced variability (REDVAR). Whether erosion regimes will change across European cropland depends on the spatial conjunction of expected changes in climate variability and physiographic conditions conducive to erosion. We isolated the effect of erosion by performing simulations with and without erosion. Median CNTRL and REDVAR erosion rates equaled 14.4 and 9.1 ton/ha, and 19.1 and 9.7, for 1981-2010 and 2071-2100, respectively. The total amount of carbon lost from European cropland due to erosion was estimated at 769 Tg C for 1981-2010 (from a total storage of 6197 Tg C without erosion) under CNTRL climate. Climate trend impacts reduce the European cropland SOC stock by 578 Tg C without - and by 683 Tg C with - erosion, from 1981 to 2100. Climate variability compounds these impacts and decreases the stock by an estimated 170 Tg C without erosion and by 314 Tg C with erosion, by the end of the century. Future climate variability and erosion will thus compound impacts on SOC stocks arising from gradual change alone.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: Biogeosciences Discussions; 11:1561-1585 (23 January 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2016 13:05
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11001

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