Soil as a carbon sink

The Nordic Council of Ministers has commissioned Nordic Forest Research (SNS) and the Nordic Committee for Agriculture and Food Research (NKJ) to look more closely at how soil can be used as a carbon sink for the sake of the climate.

The mission is to:

  • develop knowledge about, and identification of, measures that can contribute to increased carbon storage in agricultural land
  • develop knowledge of methods for modeling and emission calculations, including calibration and validation, and development of databases for models that can visualize carbon dioxide uptake and emissions in Nordic agricultural land.

The purpose is to provide a clear picture of the subject carbon in soil in the Nordic countries, and our work have resulted in a number of recommendations as a basis for discussions on potential future investments in carbon in soil.


Policy brief, June 2021


SNS and NKJ arranged four seminars. See them now:

Webinar 1:

The state of Nordic knowledge on soil as a carbon sink, November 26 2020

• Prof emeritus Johan Bouma, board member in the European Commission’s mission in the area of Soil health and food: “Exploring the exciting potential of  the Nordic countries to capture soil carbon following climate change”

• Prof Katarina Hedlund, Lund University: “How to turn agriculture soils into carbon sinks”

• Prof Raisa Makipää, LUKE: “Forest soils and their carbon sequestration potential”


Webinar 2:

Policy challenges with regards to soil carbon sequestration 27th of April 2021


• EU policy on carbon sequestration in forestry and land use
Christian Holzleitner, Head of unit, Land Use and Finance for Innovation, European Commission
• Creating an effective transition to climate neutrality – the role of policy
Hanna Mattila, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland
• Striving to protect and increase soil carbon while balancing competing societal interests: Examples from Norway
Adam O’Toole, Researcher, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research


Webinar 3:

Visualisation methods and models for soil carbon sequestration 4th of May 2021


• No title
Dr Johan Stendahl, Researcher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Head of Swedish Forest Soil Inventory
• Carbon Action Field Observatory – illustrating carbon farming effects on farms
Prof Jari Liski, Finnish Meteorological Institute, responsible Field Observatory
• Carbon modelling for Danish farms
Søren Kolind Hvid, Senior specialist, Danish Agriculture & Food Council F.m.b.A. SEGES


Webinar 4:

Digital knowledge centres for soil carbon sequestration 11th of May


How to bridge model-data integration to decision-relevant time frames
Dr Istem Fer, Senior researcher, Carbon Cycle Research Group, Finnish Meteorological Institute
Nordic going global – experiences from soil carbon collaborations
Dr Laura Höijer, Content Director, Baltic Sea Action Group
Unlocking the potential of carbon farming
Lova Brodin, CEO MiljöMatematik/Svensk Kolinlagring


Below you can download the report and the popular science brochure that NKJ and SNS have produced together.

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