Plant & Soil Science Dept.
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen AB24 3UU. UK
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272702
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272703
Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol lays the foundations for inclusion of human-induced changes in fluxes of C from agricultural soils and land-use change and forestry in Annex I Parties’ commitments. However there is a great deal of scientific uncertainty associated with C flux estimates, particularly on a regional basis. This project will help reduce the uncertainty in the UK estimates and projections of C flux from soils. The outputs will also help inform the UK’s position in international negotiations on methodological issues for reporting C fluxes from soils.
This longer-term approach will involve adapting existing models of soil processes to calculate the loss or accumulation of carbon by different soil types over time. It will also provide a more accurate assessment of organic matter balances in agriculture, and ensure that soil work for the UK GHGEI is integrated with the large programme of research funded by DEFRA on soil organic matter and sustainability.
Scientific context The current method for providing estimates of soil C fluxes from soils as a result of land-use change for the UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory (GHGEI) involves the use of a step change in a soil-related coefficient . We have recently developed approaches that can be used to estimate soil C fluxes which rely upon dynamic simulation models linked to spatially explicit datasets . This provides more process-based and spatially explicit estimates of soil C flux which explicitly account for difference in climate, land-use, and soil type. This approach allows climate change and land-use change to be examined either separately or together and for interactions to be predicted. Other recent work has focused upon agricultural carbon mitigation options . Using the simulation model approach described here, it will be possible to also examine possible carbon mitigation options in UK agriculture in a spatially explicit way, taking account of soil and climatic differences across the UK. All model outputs can be provided at both national and regional level.