Achievable agricultural soil carbon sequestration across Europe from country-specific estimates

Leonor Rodrigues, Brieuc Hardy, Bruno Huyghebaert, Julia Fohrafellner, Dario Fornara, Gabriela Barancikova, Teresa G. Barcena, Maarten De Boever, Claudia Di Bene, Dalia Feiziene, Thomas Kaetterer, Peter Laszlo, Lilian O'Sullivan, Daria Seitz, Jens Leifeld

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review


The role of soils in the global carbon cycle and in reducing GHG emissions from agriculture has been increasingly acknowledged. The ‘4 per 1000’ (4p1000) initiative has become a prominent action plan for climate change mitigation and achieve food security through an annual increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks by 0.4%, (i.e. 4‰ per year). However, the feasibility of the 4p1000 scenario and, more generally, the capacity of individual countries to implement soil carbon sequestration (SCS) measures remain highly uncertain. Here, we evaluated country-specific SCS potentials of agricultural land for 24 countries in Europe. Based on a detailed survey of available literature, we estimate that between 0.1% and 27% of the agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can potentially be compensated by SCS annually within the next decades. Measures varied widely across countries, indicating differences in country-specific environmental conditions and agricultural practices. None of the countries' SCS potential reached the aspirational goal of the 4p1000 initiative, suggesting that in order to achieve this goal, a wider range of measures and implementation pathways need to be explored. Yet, SCS potentials exceeded those from previous pan-European modelling scenarios, underpinning the general need to include national/regional knowledge and expertise to improve estimates of SCS potentials. The complexity of the chosen SCS measurement approaches between countries ranked from tier 1 to tier 3 and included the effect of different controlling factors, suggesting that methodological improvements and standardization of SCS accounting are urgently required. Standardization should include the assessment of key controlling factors such as realistic areas, technical and practical feasibility, trade-offs with other GHG and climate change. Our analysis suggests that country-specific knowledge and SCS estimates together with improved data sharing and harmonization are crucial to better quantify the role of soils in offsetting anthropogenic GHG emissions at global level.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TijdschriftGlobal Change Biology
Pagina's (van-tot)6363-6380
Aantal pagina’s18
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 20-sep.-2021


  • B410-bodembeheer


Bekijk de onderzoeksthema's van 'Achievable agricultural soil carbon sequestration across Europe from country-specific estimates'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Dit citeren