Australia: A new CSIRO-developed map of Australia's stored soil carbon provides an important benchmark against which Australia can track future changes in soil carbon storage or carbon sequestration. Providing the most detailed and accurate representation of soil organic carbon stocks, to a depth of 30 cm, at a national scale, the 2010 soil organic carbon map for Australia, draws on soil sampling data and innovative prediction methods. The map includes an estimate of soil carbon stock and an estimate of the uncertainty for approximately two billion football-field-sized blocks (90m by 90m) across Australia.
Until now, estimates of soil organic carbon across the breadth of Australia have not been available or were largely uncertain because of large gaps in data and the limits of past measurement and spatial modelling. In assembling the new map, CSIRO drew on three major datasets, including CSIRO's National Soil and Spectral databases and the national Soil Carbon Research Program – a nationally coordinated research program led by CSIRO, universities and state government agencies and funded by the Australian Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation. The map and its prediction methods provide new insight into the environmental drivers that determine the distribution of soil carbon across the nation, its diverse bioregions and its states and territories.