Preprint: Review Book Chapter

Assessing the impact of climate change on soil erosion by water - Abstract

Climate change exerts multiple impacts on water-induced soil erosion. Regarding the change in annual rainfall erosivity, the picture is clearest. Despite a small potential increase in mean temperature, a substantial increase in annual rainfall erosivity is generally expected in a warmer world. Data from Ger-many show that annual erosivity has approximately doubled within the last 60 years. Regarding the seasonality of soil cover by different crops, the influence of climate change is more diverse. Changes in sowing and harvesting dates can lead to more or to less soil protection, while an expansion of warm-season crops, in particular C4 row crops like maize, generally reduce soil protection. Wildfires and irrigation may additionally increase erosion. Overall, more water erosion can be expected in many regions. Implementing soil conservation to safeguard the world's soils and their ability to store water becomes even more important as climate change amplifies the variability of precipitation.