Baseline map of organic carbon in Australian soil to support national carbon accounting and monitoring under climate change

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Viscarra Rossel, Raphael; Webster, Richard; Bui, Elisabeth; Baldock, Jeff

Viscarra Rossel, Raphael; Webster, Richard; Bui, Elisabeth; Baldock, Jeff


2014-09-01


Journal Article


Global Change Biology


20


9


2953–2970


We can effectively monitor soil condition---and develop sound policy to offset the emissions of greenhouse gases---only with accurate baselines. Currently, estimates of soil organic C for countries or continents are unavailable or largely uncertain because they are derived from sparse data, with large gaps over many areas of the Earth. Here, we derive spatially explicit estimates, and their uncertainty, of the distribution and stock of soil organic C in Australia. We harmonized different data sets to produce the most comprehensive organic C stock data currently available. Using it, we demonstrate the derivation of a fine spatial resolution baseline map for the continent by combining a piecewise regression on environmental variables with geostatistical modeling of residuals. We then calculated baselines of soil organic C storage over the whole of Australia, its states and territories, and regions that define bioclimatic zones, vegetation classes and land use. The average amount of organic C in Australian topsoil was estimated to be 29.7 t ha-1 with 95% confidence limits of 22.6 and 37.9 t ha-1. The total stock of C for the continent is 24.97 Pg with 95% confidence limits of 19.04 and 31.83 Pg. This represents approximately 3.5% of the total stock in the upper 30 cm of soil worldwide. Australia occupies 5.2% of the global land area, so the total organic C stock of Australian soil makes an important contribution to the global carbon cycle. Our estimates are the most reliable approximation of the stock of organic C stock in Australian soil in 2010. They could be incorporated into the National Carbon Accounting System (and trading schemes) to benchmark the impact of changes in land cover, management and climate on the C stock in Australia. In this way, they would help to develop strategies to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.


Wiley-Blackwell


soil organic carbon; carbon stock; soil mapping


Carbon Sequestration Science


https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12569


Link to Publisher's Version


© 2014 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


EP1311911


Journal article - Refereed


English


Viscarra Rossel, Raphael; Webster, Richard; Bui, Elisabeth; Baldock, Jeff. Baseline map of organic carbon in Australian soil to support national carbon accounting and monitoring under climate change. Global Change Biology. 2014; 20(9):2953–2970. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12569



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