- Soil - key fact 1 — 26 Nov 2010
- 115 million ha, or 12 % of Europe’s total land area, are affected by water erosion. 42 million ha are affected by wind erosion.
- Soil - key fact 2 — 26 Nov 2010
- 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).
- Soil - key fact 3 — 26 Nov 2010
- 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.)
- Soil - key fact 4 — 26 Nov 2010
- Salinisation stands for the accumulation of basic substances mainly from minerals in water and fertilizers which makes soils unsuitable for plant growth. It affects approximatly 3.8 million ha in Europe. The main driver is the inappropriate management of irrigated agricultural land.
- Soil - key fact 5 — 26 Nov 2010
- 500,000 sites with contaminated soil are are currently identified in Europe and need remediation. but up to 3.5 million sites may be potentially affected.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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