Energy / Climate Change

January 12, 2014


Japanese Institute Launches Website to Help User Calculate, Visualize Carbon Sinks in Soil

Keywords: Climate Change University / Research institute 

Visualize_Carbon_Sinks_in_SoilCopyright National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences All Rights Reserved.

Japan's National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES) announced on October 2, 2013, that it has developed and launched a website that helps visualize the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission/removal from soil. It can calculate the increase and decrease of carbon accumulating over time in cropland soil and provide the calculated value in terms of emission/removal of CO2 from soils.

To sustain and improve the productivity of cropland, it is important to properly manage organic matter in soil. As the soil carbon level increases, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere decreases. Therefore, the management of soil carbon is seen as another way to mitigate the effects of global warming.

NIAES has validated a soil carbon dynamics model called "RothC" developed in England, by using test data showing that a certain amount of organic matter or fertilizer has been input to soil in Japan for a long period, and then developed the "Revised RothC Model" for application to cropland in Japan.

On the website this revised model is integrated with various online databases, such as ones on soil and weather. From the menu of options on the website, users specify the location of cropland on a map and select the type of crop, the method of processing crop residue, and whether or not organic manure is used. The site then calculates the increase or decrease of soil carbon over the next 20 years and displays it with graphs. The website is available at (in Japanese only).