An assessment of the global impact of 21st century land use change on soil erosion

Borrelli, Pasquale and Robinson, David A. and Fleischer, Larissa R. and Lugato, Emanuele and Ballabio, Cristiano and Alewell, Christine and Meusburger, Katrin and Modugno, Sirio and Schütt, Brigitta and Ferro, Vito and Bagarello, Vincenzo and Van Oost, Kristof and Montanarella, Luca and Panagos, Panos. (2017) An assessment of the global impact of 21st century land use change on soil erosion. Nature Communications, 8 (1). p. 2013.

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Human activity and related land use change are the primary cause of accelerated soil erosion, which has substantial implications for nutrient and carbon cycling, land productivity and in turn, worldwide socio-economic conditions. Here we present an unprecedentedly high resolution (250 × 250 m) global potential soil erosion model, using a combination of remote sensing, GIS modelling and census data. We challenge the previous annual soil erosion reference values as our estimate, of 35.9 Pg yr −1 of soil eroded in 2012, is at least two times lower. Moreover, we estimate the spatial and temporal effects of land use change between 2001 and 2012 and the potential offset of the global application of conservation practices. Our findings indicate a potential overall increase in global soil erosion driven by cropland expansion. The greatest increases are predicted to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. The least developed economies have been found to experience the highest estimates of soil erosion rates.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Umweltgeowissenschaften (Alewell)
UniBasel Contributors:Borrelli, Pasquale and Alewell, Christine and Di Bella, Katrin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:25 Jun 2018 09:07
Deposited On:25 Jun 2018 09:07

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