Researchers from the IIASA Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services Research Group will present their findings on using soil erosion measurements to benchmark large-scale soil erosion estimates at the International Symposium on Managing Land and Water for Climate-Smart Agriculture.

The conference, organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will bring together soil, water, and environment professionals from across the world to advance understanding, collaboration, and capabilities to respond to the impact of climate change in a rapidly changing global environment. IIASA researchers Rastislav Skalsky, Juraj Balkovič, and Christian Folberth will share their research on using Cs-137 radionuclide tracer-based soil erosion data as a benchmark for large-scale soil erosion estimates with the IIASA Environmental Policy Integrated Climate-based global gridded crop model (EPIC-IIASA) at global and regional scales.

The Cs-137 radionuclide tracer is frequently used for collecting data on the long-term effects of soil erosion under various land management practices at field or small watershed scale. It enables identification of spatial patterns and a total budget of soil erosion over the period since Cs-137 fallout (nuclear weapon testing) and the time of soil sampling.

Water erosion in cropland can reduce soil fertility and crop production. Successful soil conservation requires reliable information about soil erosion rates. Skalsky, Balkovič, and Folberth will show how process-based crop models coupled with geographical data can potentially provide information that is of great importance for informed soil conservation policymaking.

Relevant publications:

Carr, T.W., Balkovič, J., Dodds, P.E., Folberth, C., Skalský, R. (2021).  The impact of water erosion on global maize and wheat productivity. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 322.

Carr, T.W., Balkovič, J., Dodds, P.E., Folberth, C., Fulajtar, E., Skalský, R. (2020). Uncertainties, sensitivities and robustness of simulated water erosion in an EPIC-based global gridded crop model. Biogeosciences 17 (21).


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