World Inventory of Soil Emission Potentials (WISE)

Example of WISE-derived soil data (0.5 x 0.5 degree grid)

The WISE project, and various follow-up activities, has developed homogenized sets of soil data, linked to a spatial data set, relevant for a wide range of environmental studies at global scale - agro-ecological zoning, assessments of crop production, soil vulnerability to pollution, soil carbon stocks and change, and soil gaseous emission potentials (see: WISE-related publications). 
The WISE project (1991-1996) was implemented by ISRIC for the Dutch National Research Programme on Global Air Pollution and Climate Change (NRP Project 851039); it involved collaboration with numerous institutions and individuals worldwide. Some 1000 profiles from WISE, version 1.0, were used by the Global Soil Task Force, coordinated by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Data and Information System (IGBP-DIS).

Upon completion of the NRP-project, in 1996, WISE has been maintained and expanded in the context of several externally funded projects. Follow-up activities, with IIASA and FAO (PDF) and IFPRI (PDF), were aimed at deriving revised soil property estimates for the soil units of FAO's (1995) 1:5 million scale Soil Map of the World at  0.5 by 0.5 degrees [2002], respectivley 5 by 5 arc-minutes [2006] resolution.

Profile data from WISE are also used to fill gaps in primary SOTER databases, resulting in so-called SOTWIS databases. The latter were used to populate large portions of the Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD [2009]).

In 2009, WISE 3.0 holding some 10,253 profiles has been made available on-line. Presently, the WISE database is being consolidated and used in the framework of the Carbon Benefits Project, co-funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

[1991-1996 (NRP project); 1996-present (various spin-off projects)]