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Indicator Assessment Progress in management of contaminated sites (CSI 015/LSI 003) - Assessment published Aug 2007
Soil contamination requiring clean up is present at approximately 250000 sites in the EEA member countries, according to recent estimates. And this number is expected to grow. Potentially polluting activities are estimated to have occurred at nearly 3 million sites (including the 250000 sites already mentioned) and investigation is needed to establish whether remediation is required. If current investigation trends continue, the number of sites needing remediation will increase by 50% by 2025. By contrast, more than 80000 sites have been cleaned up in the last 30 years in the countries where data on remediation is available. Although the range of polluting activities (and their relative importance as localised sources of soil contamination) may vary considerably across Europe, industrial and commercial activities as well as the treatment and disposal of waste are reported to be the most important sources. National reports indicate that heavy metals and mineral oil are the most frequent soil contaminants at investigated sites, while mineral oil and chlorinated hydrocarbons are the most frequent contaminants found in groundwater. A considerable share of remediation expenditure, about 35% on average, comes from public budgets. Although considerable efforts have been made already, it will take decades to clean up a legacy of contamination.
Located in Data and maps Indicators Progress in management of contaminated sites
Figure Projected changes in soil organic carbon for cropland 1990-2080
Predicted changes in soil organic carbon for croplands 1990–2080. The image on the left shows changes due to climate change only while the map on the right shows changes as a result of variations in net primary production and the advent of new technologies related to crop management (e.g. machinery, pesticides, herbicides, agronomic knowledge of farmers) and breeding (development of higher yielding varieties through improved stress resistance and/or yield potential) that result in yield increases.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure OpenDocument Spreadsheet Template Regional coincidence of some environmental pressures and impacts (hot spots)
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Relative losses of agricultural areas to urbanisation
Graph showing estimated loss of agricultural land in 20 EU countries due to urbanization between 1990 and 2000 based on an analysis of CORINE Land Cover Data
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Salinisation in Europe, 1993
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Sensitivity to desertification in the northern Mediterranean
Sensitivity to desertification and drought in the Mediterranean basin.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Pascal source code Sensitivity to desertification index map
Map from the DISMED project (Desertification Information System for the Mediterranean) showing the sensitivity to desertification and drought as defined by the sensitivity to desertification index (SDI) based on soil quality, climate and vegetation parameters.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
SOER Key fact (Deprecated) Soil - key fact 2
Europe's soils store about 73 to 79 billion tonnes of carbon. Some 45 % of soils in Europe have a low or very low organic matter content (meaning 0-2 % organic carbon) and 45 % have a medium content (meaning 2-6 % organic carbon).
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key facts
SOER Key fact (Deprecated) Soil - key fact 3
Some authors estimate 36 % of European subsoils as having high or very high susceptibility to compaction. Other sources report 32 % of soils being highly vulnerable and 18 % moderately affected. (The use of heavy machinery in agriculture can induce ‘soil compaction’, which reduces its capacity to store and conduct water, makes it less permeable for plant roots and increases the risk of soil loss by water erosion.)
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key facts
SOER Message (Deprecated) Soil — key message 1
Soil is a largely non-renewable natural resource that underpins a range of vital ecosystem services. Soil organisms play a key role in soil processes, such as bio-geochemical cycles, organic matter decomposition, and nitrogen transformation. Maintaining soil biodiversity is therefore a key concern.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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