Many developments in the world call for integrated global analyses. Increasing population pressure, socio-economic and political developments, as well as global environmental change are likely to lead to important changes in land use in the next decades. Comprehensive studies on future land use and areas at risk from deterioration can be realistically pursued only when adequate data are available on climate, land use and management, soil and terrain conditions, degree of soil degradation and contamination, and feasible production practices.
ISRIC – World Soil Information and its partners are contributing to the development of a range of area-class products and soil property prediction surfaces.The underlying,spatially explicit databases may be used to drive simulation models linked to geographical information systems (GIS). The problem of data requirements for these models is directly linked to the nature of the processes being studied. Ideally, the scale of modelling should coincide with the spatial and temporal scales of the processes involved and the (scientific or policy) questions that need to be answered.
ISRIC’s soil databases are relevant for a wide range of environmental studies, mainly at regional to global scale, including: agro-ecological zoning, assessments of crop production potential, effects of improved soil-water conservation practices, soil vulnerability to pollution, soil carbon stocks and changes, and soil gaseous emission potentials. Published examples of such studies may be found elsewhere: WISE-related publications;eSOTER-related publications; GlobalSoilMap.net; ...)