Soil erosion by water (CLIM 028) - Assessment published Sep 2008
Climate change (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- CLIM 028
Key policy question: ..
- An estimated 115 million hectares, 12 % of the total EU land area, are subject to water erosion.
- The projected changes in the climate during the 21st century, with increased variations in rainfall pattern and intensity, will make soils more susceptible to erosion.
- The off-site effects of soil erosion will increase with climate change and related changes in rainfall pattern and intensity.
Soil erosion risk assessment for Europe for the year 2000
Note: The map shows the soil erosion risk assessment for Europe for the year 2000
Joint Research Centre (JRC), INRA (France), (http://eusoils.jrc.it/ESDB_Archive/serae/Serae_data.html).
Past trends for erosion are not available on the European scale. Based on EU-wide modelling, an estimated 115 million hectares or 12 % of the total EU land area is (in 2000) subject to water erosion (see Figure 1). In this assessment the risk of erosion by water was calculated by using yearly average values for precipitation. However such risks are in fact to a large extent determined by extreme precipitation events (e.g. daily, hourly). The uncertainty of this modelled erosion risk is therefore high, especially at the local level.
Several studies have been conducted to model the effects of future climate change on soil erosion (e.g. Kirkby et al., 2004). These show a non-linear spatial and temporal response of soil erosion to climate change, with relatively large increases I erosion during wet years compared with dry years, and sporadic increases spatially. Erosion is projected to increase with increases in precipitation amount and intensity, and to decrease with increases in ground cover and canopy cover (IPCC, 2007a).
Soil erosion risk assessment in Europe
provided by Joint Research Centre (JRC)
More information about this indicator
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