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Global Soil Organic Carbon on Cropland

Global Sequestration Potential of Increased Organic Carbon in Cropland Soils

Publication citation: Zomer, R.J., Bossio, D.A., Sommer, R., Verchot, L.V.,  2017. Global Sequestration Potential of Increased Organic Carbon in Cropland Soils. Scientific Reports 7: DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15794-8

Abstract

The role of soil organic carbon in global carbon cycles is receiving increasing attention both as a potentially large and uncertain source of CO2 emissions in response to predicted global temperature rises, and as a natural sink for carbon able to reduce atmospheric CO2. There is general agreement that the technical potential for sequestration of carbon in soil is significant, and some consensus on the magnitude of that potential. Croplands worldwide could sequester between 0.90 and 1.85 Pg C/yr, i.e. 26-53 % of the target of the “4p1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate”. The importance of intensively cultivated regions such as North America, Europe, India and intensively cultivated areas in Africa, such as Ethiopia, is highlighted. Soil carbon sequestration and the conservation of existing soil carbon stocks, given its multiple benefits including improved food production, is an important mitigation pathway to achieve the less than 2 °C global target of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Increased Soil Organic Carbon on Croplands: Food Security, Adaptation, and Mitigation

The Global Soil Organic Carbon on Cropland analysis is part of on-going research focused on Global Soil Carbon: Food Security, Adaptation, and Mitigation, at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Water, Land and Ecosytems (WLE) program of the CGIAR, The Nature Conservancy, and the Center for Mountain Ecosystems Studies (CMES) at the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

This analysis investigated the potential of increased soil organic matter (SOC) to sequester carbon, globally, regionally, and nationally. The research, and the various geospatial analyses presented here, are a product primarily of research  conducted by Dr. Robert J. Zomer at the Center for Mountain Ecosystems Studies (a joint collaboration of the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the World Agroforestry Center)Dr. Deborah A. Bossio at The Nature Conservancy – USA,  Dr. Rolf Sommer at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dr. Lou V. Verchot at International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia.

Global Soil Organic Carbon and Sequestratation Potential Datasets

The Geospatial Datasets providing the results of this analysis are archived and available for download from Harvard Dataverse from the  Data Download tab.

Various high resolution Maps in jpeg format are available for download from the Map Gallery.

An overview of methods and results, and the background for the analysis are described in the following two of publications: 

Zomer, R.J., Bossio, D.A., Sommer, R., Verchot, L.V.,  2017. Global Sequestration Potential of Increased
       Organic  Carbon in Cropland Soils. Scientific Reports 7: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15794-8

Sommer, R. & Bossio, D., 2014. Dynamics and climate change mitigation potential of soil organic carbon sequestration.
J. Environ. Manage. 144, 83–87.   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.05.017

The methodology is described in detail in the Supplementary Materials associated with Zomer et al. 2017.

Credits

Funding for this study was provided by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), with additional support provided by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Center for Mountain Ecosystems Studies (CMES), Kunming Institute of Botany and the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The authors wish to acknowledge and thank ISRIC WorldSoil Information for providing the SoilGrids250 datasets, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), for providing the Global Land Cover (GLC-Share) data, and the GADM for providing easy access online to the publically available global datasets used in this analysis, listed below:

Hengl, T. et al. 2017.  SoilGrids250m: Global gridded soil information based on machine learning. PLoS ONE 12, e0169748 (2017). Data downloaded from: https://www.soilgrids.org

Latham, J., Cumani, R., Rosati, I. & Bloise, M. 2014. FAO Global Land Cover (GLC-SHARE) Beta-Release 1.0 Database, Version 1.0 – 2014. 1–40 (Land and Water Division, FAO, 2014). Data downloaded from: http://www.glcn.org/databases/lc_glcshare_en.jsp

GADM, 2015. GADM database of global administrative areas, version 2.8. 2015. http://www.gadm.org

Data download

Global soil carbon in croplands (top 30 cm) and sequestration potential after 20 years:

These datasets were developed as part of an analysis of the carbon sequestration potential of increasing soil organic carbon on croplands in the top 30cm of soil. The analysis estimates the carbon sequestration in tons per hectare after 20 years under improved management, with both a “medium” and a “high” scenario on the model presented in Sommer and Bossio (2014). This analysis is described in the paper cited below:

            Zomer, R.J., Bossio, D.A., Sommer, R., Verchot, L.V.,  2017. Global Sequestration Potential of Increased
Organic  Carbon in Cropland Soils.
 Scientific Reports 7: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15794-8

 The methodology is described in detail in the Supplementary Materials.

Description 

These datasets provide per pixel (250m resolution) values of the soil organic carbon, potential soil organic carbon on cropland after 20 years, and increase in soil organic carbon after 20 years in tons per hectare (value x 100), considering the percent of that grid cell which is classified as cropland in the GLC-Share (GLC-02) dataset. It is developed from the ISRIC SoilGrids250 database (Data downloaded from: https://www.soilgrids.org).

Global Soil Carbon on Cropland Datasets

Datasets are archived and available from Harvard Dataverse (in GeoTIFF format):

Access dataset here:  DOI: 10.7910/DVN/HYFICT

An overview of the dataset files and data dictionary is available here: Data Manual

Soil Organic Carbon in Tons per Hectare

These datasets present values in tons per hectare, but do not take into account the actual amount of cropland found within that grid cell.

  • Soil Organic Carbon on Croplands:                                                                                          File: soc_t1_30cm.tif
  • Potential SOC on Croplands After 20 Yr – Medium Scenario:                                                 File: soc_t2_me.tif
  • Potential SOC on Croplands After 20 Yr – High Scenario:                                                      File: soc_t2_hi.tif
  • Increase in SOC on Croplands After 20 Yr – Medium Scenario:                                             File: soc-dif_me.tif
  • Increase in SOC on Croplands After 20 Yr – High Scenario:                                                   File: soc_dif_hi.tif

Soil Organic Carbon in Tons per Hectare per Grid Cell

These datasets present values in tons per hectare per grid cell, considering the percent of that grid cell which is classified as cropland in the GLC-Share (GLC-02) dataset. Multiply the value by 6.25 (the number of hectares per 250m grid cell) to obtain total tons of carbon per grid cell x 100.

  • Soil Organic Carbon on Croplands per Grid Cell:                                                                   File: tc_t1_30cm.tif
  • Potential SOC on Croplands After 20 Yr – Medium Scenario per Grid Cell:                         File: tc_t2_me.tif
  • Potential SOC on Croplands After 20 Yr – High Scenario per Grid Cell:                               File: tc_t2_hi.tif
  • Increase in SOC on Croplands After 20 Yr – Medium Scenario per Grid Cell:                      File: tc_dif_me.tif
  • Increase in SOC on Croplands After 20 Yr – High Scenario per Grid Cell:                           File: tc_dif_hi.tif
  • Soil Organic Carbon on High SOC Croplands per Grid Cell:                                                File: tc_ag_hi_c.tif

An overview of methods and results, and the background for the analysis are described in the following two of publications:

Zomer, R.J., Bossio, D.A., Sommer, R., Verchot, L.V.,  2017. Global Sequestration Potential of Increased Organic Carbon in Cropland Soils. Scientific Reports 7:   http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15794-8

Sommer, R. & Bossio, D., 2014. Dynamics and climate change mitigation potential of soil organic carbon sequestration. J. Environ. Manage. 144, 83–87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.05.017

Data Citation:

Zomer, Robert J.; Bossio, Deborah A.; Sommer, Rolf; Verchot, Louis V.. 2017. Global Sequestration Potential of Increased Organic Carbon in Cropland Soils. Scientific Reports . 7: 15554. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15794-8

Source data downloaded from: 

Hengl, T. et al. 2017.  SoilGrids250m: Global gridded soil information based on machine learning. PLoS ONE 12, e0169748 (2017). Data downloaded from: https://www.soilgrids.org

Latham, J., Cumani, R., Rosati, I. & Bloise, M. 2014. FAO Global Land Cover (GLC-SHARE) Beta-Release 1.0 Database, Version 1.0 – 2014. 1–40 (Land and Water Division, FAO, 2014). Data downloaded from: http://www.glcn.org/databases/lc_glcshare_en.jsp

GADM, 2015. GADM database of global administrative areas, version 2.8. 2015. http://www.gadm.org

Use Limitation

DISTRIBUTION: Users are prohibited from any commercial, non-free resale, or redistribution without explicit written permission from CIAT. Users should acknowledge the Global Soil Organic Carbon on Croplands Data as the source used in the creation of any reports, publications, new data sets, derived products, or services resulting from the use of this data set.

NO WARRANTY OR LIABILITY: Neither the authors of this dataset, nor the Intnernational Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Water, Land and Ecosystems Program (WLE), or The Nature Convservancy (TNC), can bear any responsibility for the consequences of using it, which are entirely the responsibility of the user. It is inevitable that a data-set of this size will contain some errors and inconsistencies. However, these have been kept to a minimum and when they are identified they are corrected when resources permit. Updates to this dataset are announced through the CIAT web site.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND CITATION: We kindly ask any users to cite this database in any published material produced using this data, and if possible link web pages to the CIAT Global Soil Organic Carbon on Croplands website (http://ciat.cgiar.org/global-soil-carbon). The creator of this data set retains full ownership rights over it. The data set may be freely used for non-commercial scientific and educational purposes, provided it is attributed, using the following citation:

Zomer, R.J., Bossio, D.A., Sommer, R., Verchot, L.V.,  2017. Global Sequestration Potential of Increased Organic Carbon in Cropland Soils.  Scientific Reports (In Press).  Geospatial data available online at: http://ciat.cgiar.org/global-soil-carbon

DATA USE AND DISTRIBUTION: This database has been generated by not-for-profit institutions with the objective of supplying accessible and useful information to developing country organizations. We actively encourage use of these products for scientific purposes. This is not however the case for commercial purposes. The entire dataset is available for commercial use at a modest cost, but permission must be sought. Commercial sectors interested in using this data should contact Dr. Rolf Sommer at: r.sommer@cgiar.org

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