Do we need to include soil evolution module in models for prediction of future climate change?

Année de publication



Climatic Change 2009 98 75 86 1-2


Abstract: Climate change induce increases in precipitation in Northern Europe that may in turn affect soil evolution by increasing the amounts of water flowing through soils. However, there is a general lack of consideration of the impact of climate change on soil evolution. We propose here to use agricultural soil drainage—that also increases the amount of water flowing through soils—as an analogy to climate change. We thus studied the impact of 16 years of agricultural drainage in one cropped plot of the most common type of soils of Northern Europe. To estimate the importance of the soil evolution induced by drainage, we compared it to the long term natural evolution of that soil. The recent increase in water fluxes by agricultural drainage (16 years) has resulted in an increase in the intensity and velocity of the natural pedological processes. The increased amount of water flowing thorough soils due to drainage is of same order of magnitude than that that would be induced by climate change in the next 50–100 years in northern Europe. Our results demonstrated thus that climate change will significantly affect soil evolution. This evolution induces losses of the finest particles involved in organic carbon sequestration and thus has a feedback effect on climate change. Therefore we consider that soil evolution in response to climate change has to be explicitly studied and included in models predicting global climate change.

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