Some Approaches to Measuring Soil's Carbon Sequestration
Potential in Ukraine
Alla Achasova
, Andrii Achasov
, Ganna Titenko
and Vladimir Krivtsov
O.N. Sokolovsky
National Scientific Centre «Institute for Soil Science and Agrochemistry Research», Chaikovska St. 4,
Kharkiv, Ukraine
School of Ecology, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, EH3 5LR Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Keywords: Carbon Sequestration, Carbon Sequestration Potential, GHG, Chernozems, Dehumification, Ukraine NDCs.
Abstract: The Strategy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the period up to 2030 was adopted in October 2021
at COP26. However, it does not take into account the potential of arable soils for carbon sequestration.
Meanwhile, on a global scale, carbon sequestration by soils is regarded as one of the most important tools to
combat further increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. According to preliminary estimates, the amount of
carbon that can potentially accumulate in the soils of Ukraine is 757,7 million tons, of which 23,3 million
tons - in the arable soils of Polisia, 350,3 million tons in the soils of the Forest-steppe and 384,2 million tons
soils of the Steppe of Ukraine. At the same time, modern assessments of the sequestration potential, do not
usually involve assessment of erosion processes and the spatial heterogeneity of humus accumulation
conditions, which significantly change the carbon cycle in slope soils. This article discusses four possible
approaches to assessing the potential of soil sequestration as well as the popular, but difficult to implement,
method of carbon accumulation modeling. The authors consider three variants of the balance method for
assessing the potential capacity of soil sequestration based on the difference between potential and real content
of organic carbon. All three approaches give similar results for assessing the sequestration potential of
chernozem soils.
The apparent exacerbation of climate change is
forcing the world community to step up its efforts to
reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and
carbon content in the atmosphere by its sequestration.
In 2021, Ukraine took several important steps to
achieve climate neutrality. In June, the government
approved the second Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDCs) for Paris Agreement (Cabinet
of Ministers of Ukraine, 2021a). In October, the
Cabinet of Ministers adopted the Environmental
Security and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy of
Ukraine until 2030 (ESCCASU30) (Cabinet of
Ministers of Ukraine, 2021b).
Analysis of this Strategy (Ministry of Ecology and
Natural Resources of Ukraine, 2021) shows that
agriculture and agricultural land are currently
considered mainly as a source of additional
emissions. The main sources of GHG emissions in
agriculture and land use are internal fermentation and
organic waste management in livestock, mineral
fertilizers and loss of humus (dehumification).
Among the ways to reduce GHG emissions in the
agricultural sector and land use, Land Use Change
and Forestry (LULUCF), ESCCASU30 lists
measures aimed at reproducing organic carbon
content in soils. However, direct sequestration of
carbon by soils is not considered as a mitigation
option. Moreover, the Strategy does not take into
account the amount of carbon sequestration by soils
which is not calculated, yet.
Only forestry considers carbon sequestration in
the planning of forest area increase. However, carbon
Achasova, A., Achasov, A., Titenko, G. and Krivtsov, V.
Some Approaches to Measuring Soil’s Carbon Sequestration Potential in Ukraine.
DOI: 10.5220/0011341000003350
In Proceedings of the 5th International Scientific Congress Society of Ambient Intelligence (ISC SAI 2022) - Sustainable Development and Global Climate Change, pages 40-50
ISBN: 978-989-758-600-2
2022 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reser ved
sequestration by soils in the world is one of the most
powerful real mechanisms for reducing GHG in the
atmosphere (The Food and Agriculture Organization,
2020; Abdullah et al., 2018; Lal et al., 2004; Han et
al., 2016). Most of the carbon in terrestrial
ecosystems accumulates in soils.
According to the estimates of (Scharlemann et al.,
2014) for landscapes of cool temperature moist, cool
temperature dry and warm temperature dry zones,
typical for Ukraine, the share of organic carbon
contained in the soil is from 76% (Dry Steppe) to 92%
(Forest-Steppe and Steppe) of the total carbon of
terrestrial ecosystems.
According to the State Forest Resources Agency
of Ukraine (State Forest Resources Agency of
Ukraine, 2021), Ukraine's forest cover is now 15.9%,
and there are plans to increase it to 18% by 2030
(Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, 2021b).
Agricultural land already occupies about 43 million
hectares, i. e. 71.2% of the territory (Land Directory
of Ukraine, 2020).
Geographical location and natural conditions
make Ukraine one of the main producers of
agricultural products in the world. The aggravation of
the global hunger problem requires an increase in
world food production, and therefore Ukraine should
not expect a significant reduction in arable land and
an increase in forest cover. These expectations are not
only unrealistic, but also irrational.
It is obvious that although afforestation is a
necessary measure, the scale of the impact on the
carbon balance in Ukraine's forests is not even close
to that of the agricultural soil. Thus, in our opinion, in
the current Strategy for Adaptation of Ukraine to
Climate Change, the importance of increasing the
humus content in soils is clearly underestimated.
The authors propose to quantify carbon
sequestration, using modeling carbon cycle processes
(The Food and Agriculture Organization, 2020;
Zomer et al., 2017; Lal et al., 2018). The basic model
for the prediction of carbon sequestration is
recognized (FAO, 2020). The Rothamsted carbon
model (RothC) (Coleman and Jenkinson, 2014) is
freely available for the scientific investigation
allowing researchers to predict changes in organic C
content in soil depending on climatic parameters, soil
particle size distribution, application of organic
fertilizers and quantity, and quality of organic
residues entering the soil monthly. The use of the
RothC model is quite promising for Ukraine as well,
but it is currently not adapted to local conditions and
requires a large amount of very specific input
information that limits its application. In addition, in
our opinion, the model does not take into account
such an important aspect as the local potential for
sequestration of organic carbon by soils, which
depends on the specific thermodynamic conditions of
soil formation.
In our opinion, determining the upper limit of
possible accumulation of carbon in the soil is
fundamentally important in predicting its
sequestration because it allows researchers to develop
specific measures for specific areas.
Quite a few researchers emphasize that the rate of
carbon sequestration by soils is not constant and it
gradually decreases until the soil reaches a certain
equilibrium level of humus content (Lal et al., 2018).
However, there is no consensus on exactly how this
slowdown in sequestration occurs and how to
quantify its pace. This happens due to the complex
processes of organic matter transformation in soils
and a great variety of soils, keeping in mind
possible combinations of soil formation factors that
affect the course of carbon accumulation.
Thus, when estimating the sequestration potential,
most studies assess carbon sequestration rate of soil,
as "constant during the first 30-50 years". The source
of this approach can be the work of a recognized
authority in assessing the carbon sequestration
potential of R. Lal and his colleagues. They
approximate time to achieve equilibrium of the soil
carbon system by stimulating carbon sequestration,
which, according to their estimates, is 25-50 years for
most soils (Lal et al., 2018).
However, it is obvious that the change in the rate
of carbon sequestration over time will depend not
only on natural and climatic conditions and the
amount and quality of organic matter entering the
soil, but also on soil condition, and in particular the
degree of degradation (here by degradation we mean
the processes that lead to the loss of organic matter).
However, it is obvious that the change in the rate of
carbon sequestration over time will depend not only
on natural and climatic conditions and the amount and
quality of organic matter entering the soil, but also on
soil condition, the degree of degradation. The relative
share of lost organic carbon compared to equilibrium
non-degraded soils characterizes the degradation
degree. It determines the undersaturation of the soil
with carbon, and, consequently, the temporal
dynamics of carbon sequestration. Kogut et al. (2021)
determine the active period of sequestration by
introducing the concept of a certain "steady-state
time" of organic carbon content, which, according to
the authors, varies from 30 for medium-plowed
fertilized arable land to 5,000 years for highly eroded
meadows. Although the idea of "characteristic time"
is quite valid, the quantitative assessment of
Some Approaches to Measuring Soil’s Carbon Sequestration Potential in Ukraine
"characteristic time" provided by Kogut et al. (2021)
has, in our opinion, been based on a poorly
substantiated expert judgement, which reduces the
importance of the sequestration potential assessment
An important practical aspect of the quantitative
assessment of carbon sequestration is consideration
of sequestration in the system of CO2 emissions
trading, which is to develop in Ukraine in the near
future (Prohorchuk, 2021). The calculated amount of
sequestered carbon with the receipt of "carbon
certificates", should allow landowners to monetize
the sequestered carbon. To do this, special electronic
services are created, such as multi-sided platform
AgreenaCarbon from Agreena company that allows
the so-called "carbon farmers" to obtain carbon
certificates for sequestered carbon. According to
Agreena's managers, this company is successfully
operating in the EU agricultural sector, and already
has successful experience of cooperating with several
major Ukrainian agricultural producers. Ukrainian
agricultural producers can already sell the obtained
certificates on the international voluntary market of
carbon certificates (Shneider et al., 2019).
In addition, the EU is expected to introduce a so-
called "carbon duty" on agricultural products.
Quantitative evidence of carbon sequestration by soil
will be another way to reduce the costs of farmers.
The objective of the article is to analyze possible
approaches to assessing the potential carbon
sequestration by soils in Ukraine and contribution of
carbon sequestration by soils to the balance of
greenhouse gas emissions for the period up to 2050.
The paper considers the carbon sequestration
potential of soils (SOCseq) as a characteristic of the
maximum potential amount of carbon that can be
absorbed and sustained by the soil, using the
Here: SOC0 potentially possible stable content of
organic carbon in the soil;
SOC1 soil organic carbon (SOC) content at the time
of sequestration potential assessment.
Whilst there are no difficulties in determining the
current SOC1 content, estimating the potential SOC
content in the soil is not an easy task.
The content of humus in soils is a natural result of
the interactions among a range of factors, forming one
or another type of soil. Thus, these factors limit
possible accumulation of organic carbon in mineral
soils. This is noticeable in studies of humus
accumulation on rock dumps where the process of
soil formation began under the influence of self-
developed vegetation. Such dumps are, in fact, a
natural model of carbon sequestration. In fact, they
allow us to trace the real process of carbon
accumulation over time.
The authors built a model of humus accumulation
according to Makhonina (2004) for the conditions of
forest-steppe and forest landscapes of the Urals,
Russia, shown in Fig.1. These simulations
demonstratea general trend of humus accumulation
processes. The most intensive processes of organic
carbon accumulation occurred in the soils studied by
Makhonina (2004) in the first 30-40 years.
Figure 1: Changes in the average annual amount of
accumulated carbon depending on the age of the soil.
However, this process has not stopped even in
soils aged 200 years, i.e. the accumulation has not
reached the balance yet. According to calculations by
Makhonina, it takes 400 to 1500 years for soils to
reach an equilibrium level of humus content. Similar
data were obtained for the conditions of the Crimea
(Ergina, 2013), where studies of different ages of
soils show that it takes about 2000 years for soils to
achieve a balanced humus state. Lysetsky, Stolba and
Goleusov (2016), give a similar order of values in
estimating the characteristic time of equilibrium by
soil, indicating that the time of equilibrium and
slowing of soil processes reaches 1400-1600 years.
Probably, it is the content of organic matter
established in soils after they reach "carbon balance"
(i.e. equilibrium state) that we can consider the
maximum potential level of organic carbon in soils. It
is the upper maximum limit of carbon accumulation
in determining the sequestration potential.
However, in real conditions of high soil plowing,
it is almost impossible to find natural soil standards
ISC SAI 2022 - V International Scientific Congress SOCIETY OF AMBIENT INTELLIGENCE
to determine the sequestration potential. A number of
Ukrainian researchers have repeatedly discussed the
problem of lack of standards for monitoring the soils
of Ukraine (Medvedev, 2012).
It should also be noted that SOC0 content of
virgin soils is the maximum possible level of carbon
accumulation that cannot actually be achieved in
intensive agricultural production. That should be
taken into consideration in calculations of the
sequestration potential. According to Körschens
(2021), this is only possible if 7 billion people refuse
to eat. Any agricultural use of soils causes a decrease
in their organic carbon content and makes it
impossible to maintain its amount at the "virgin"
Dehumification, as opposed to humus
accumulation, can also last indefinitely. Experience
shows that the processes of dehumification of soils,
provoked by their plowing, occur most intensively in
the first decades after plowing, then the process slows
down (Degtyarev, 2011; Chendev et al., 2011;
Ivanov, A. L. (Ed.), 2013). However, the loss of
organic carbon due to its mineralization continues in
arable soils not tens but hundreds of years after the
plowing of virgin land. Thus, (Chendev et al., 2011)
has found that although the loss of organic carbon due
to mineralization of soil organic matter occurs most
intensely in the first 50-70 years after plowing, it
further continues, although less intensively. SOC
losses were recorded (Chendev et al., 2011) in
chernozems plowed for 140-240 years.
Fig.2 shows traditional ideas about the course of
dehumification of soils during plowing.
Figure 2: Time course of soil dehumification after plowing
(Ivanov, A. L. (Ed.), 2013).
According to the results of monitoring surveys,
Ukraine's soils continue to lose organic matter
because of their long-term agricultural use. Official
data on the change in humus content in soils today use
the analysis of literature sources, starting with the first
surveys by V.V. Dokuchaev (1882) and continuous
soil and agrochemical surveys conducted in Ukraine
by the State Institution "Soils Protection Institute of
Fortunately, dehumification, in contrast to, for
example, salinization of soils, is a reversible process.
The humus lost by the soil is able to recover, and this
is what determines the potential ability of soils to
sequester carbon.
As discussed above, it is difficult to establish the
time of equilibrium during soil recarbonization, and
the conditional 20-30 years used in the calculations
now do not reflect real ability of the soil to
accumulate carbon. Therefore, in our opinion, it is
more rational and realistic to proceed not from time
but from the quantitative potential of organic carbon
accumulation, calculating it by equation 1. The rate
of sequestration and approach time of the maximum
SOC0 content will depend on the measures taken to
reproduce the SOC content.
Figure 3 shows the change in organic carbon
content in the soils of Ukraine, calculated from
officially published data on the dynamics of humus
content in soils (Baliuk et al., 2016).
Figure 3: Decrease of SOC (%) content in Ukrainian farm
soils (built on the data of Baliuk et al., 2016).
As it is clear from Figure 3, the SOC content in
soils is steadily declining, and the rate of organic
carbon loss calculated on these data, does not
decrease over time (Fig. 4).
Some increase in the average SOC content in
Polissya is not due to improved soil conditions, but to
the removal of the least fertile low-humus soils from
agricultural use. Therefore, we formed the sample for
subsequent surveys from samples of more humus-rich
soils compared to the previous ones. In contrast, in
Some Approaches to Measuring Soil’s Carbon Sequestration Potential in Ukraine
the Forest-Steppe and Steppe of Ukraine, the rate of
SOC losses only increased.
Figure 4: Average annual losses SOC in Ukraine t/ha.
This is easy to explain, as the intensity of soil use
was constantly increasing, but organic fertilizers were
almost not applied (Baliulk et al., 2016) and increased
yields were due to depletion of soil resources. In
addition, an important factor in the constant loss of
organic matter is soil erosion, which, according to
expert estimates, currently covers 13,3 million
hectares of arable land in Ukraine (Baliuk et al., 2017)
Table 1 shows the results of the SOCseq
assessment for the 0-30 cm soil layer in Ukraine on
data from fig. 3. The authors used equation 1 for
calculation, for SOC0 - data for 1882, for SOC1 - for
Table 1: Potential of carbon sequestratition of arable soil in
Ukraine (for 0-30 cm).
The potential of carbon
sequestration in soils (0-30 cm
5,14 4,2 23,3 3,1 85,3
Steppe 11,73 27,6 350,3 46,2 1284,3
15,58 22,8 384,2 50,7 1408,9
32,45 21,5 757,7 100 2778,4
*share from total potential sequestratition
As it is clear from Fig. 3 and 4, major carbon
losses occurred in the soils of the Forest-Steppe and
Steppe of Ukraine with higher natural fertility and
those used more intensively in agricultural
Therefore, the soils of the Forest-Steppe and
Steppe account for almost 97% of the mass of carbon,
which today is potentially capable of sequestering the
soils of Ukraine. The total sequestration potential
estimated in this way for Ukraine is 757,7 million
tons, or 2,78 billion tons of CO2eq. Assuming that we
can achieve this level of sequestration in 50 years, an
annual reduction in CO2 emissions will come to 55.6
million tons. For comparison, this is 1.46 times higher
than the total average annual CO2eq emissions in
agriculture, planned in the framework of NDCs for
2030 (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of
Ukraine, 2021). The opening of the domestic market
for carbon certificates will make investment in the
reproduction of humus content in the soil mutually
beneficial for farmers, who will increase the fertility
of their lands, and for industrial enterprises that can
receive additional quotas by investing in carbon
The obtained values of carbon sequestration
(Table 1) give a generalized idea of the possible
amounts of emission reductions through carbon
sequestration in the soils of Ukraine. However, they
do not assess in detail the sequestration capacity of
specific soils in the real economy. In addition, it is
difficult to say how correct such calculations are, and
whether the 1882 data can be used as SOC0.
To answer these questions, it is advisable to
compare the calculation data using SOC0 data from
1882 with similar calculations for a particular soil,
where we compare a virgin analogue with arable soil.
We have collected data from modern studies of the
humus condition of soils that meet these
requirements. Table 2 shows the calculated
sequestration potential for the top layer of different
subtypes of chernozems, where SOC0 is the organic
carbon content in virgin soil and SOC1 is in the same
soil plowed for a long time. Classification of
chernozems is presented in the international format
according to the recommendations (International Soil
Reference and Information Centre, 2015).
The sequestration potential, calculated for such
soils, (Table 2) was slightly higher than the values,
obtained on average for Ukraine (tab.1). We can
explain this by the fact that the SOC content in the
studied chernozems was significantly higher than the
average values in the relevant areas of Ukraine.
However, the losses of SOC in plowed soils relative
to the virgin state were very close to the estimated
losses of SOC for 2010 compared to 1882 (Fig. 5).
ISC SAI 2022 - V International Scientific Congress SOCIETY OF AMBIENT INTELLIGENCE
Relative Losses (RL) are calculated by the
)*100/ SOC
RL for data on the zones of Ukraine for 2010 ranged
(Table 2) from 8,2 to 29,3%. The maximum losses
naturally fall on the more fertile soils of the Forest-
Steppe and Steppe. The average relative losses in
plowed chernozems in comparison with virgin land
(Table 2) was 28,8-30,5%.
In our opinion, this similarity of estimates is in favor
of the reliability of sequestration potential estimates,
based on generalized data (Table 1). It also confirms
possible use of data on humus content in soils of
Ukraine in 1882 to assess zonal sequestration
potential at the zonal level and the adequate method
of quantitative estimates.
Table 2: SOC losses and potential of carbon sequestration for some Ukrainian chernosems (for 0-30 cm layer).
Soil Source SOC
% t/ha
Luvic Chernozem Plisko, 2020 3,65 2,64 1,02 36,54 27,95
Calcic Chernozem Plisko, 2020 2,05 1,72 0,34 12,11 16,59
Halpic Chernozem Kramarenko, 2000 3,40 2,30 1,10 39,68 32,35
Luvic Chernozem
Panasenko, Degtiarev,
4,70 3,32 1,39 49,91 29,57
Luvic Chernozem Tonkha, Yevpak, 2016 4,66 3,32 1,35 48,34 28,89
Halpic Chernozem Tonkha, Yevpak, 2016 3,95 2,27 1,68 60,35 42,46
Average 3,73 2,59 1,15 41,15 29,64
Average for Steppe 3,13 2,10 1,04 37,38 30,47
Average for Forest Steppe 4,34 3,09 1,25 44,93 28,80
Figure 5: Relative losses of SOC in 2010 in soils of Ukraine
for various methods of assessing the initial carbon level.
Thus, the calculated values of the potential of
carbon sequestration by the soils of Ukraine can
supplement the ESCCASU30 at the regional level.
However, the implementation of any action strategy
becomes real only if there is a reliable method of
transferring this strategy to the local level.
Here, only limited number of farms can apply this
approach because, as mentioned above, there are
hardly any virgin analogues of arable land left in
To solve the problem, we can calculate the
potential level of carbon accumulation in soils, using
calculated coefficients as described below.
Studies of Ukrainian soil scientists have
established a quantitative dependence of humus
accumulation in soils depending on their genesis,
hydrothermal conditions of soil formation and
particle size distribution of soil-forming rocks. To
characterize the ability of different types of soils to
accumulate humus (Polupan et al., 2008), they
propose a number of calculation coefficients. The
authors propose to use the Coefficient of relative
accumulation of humus (CRAH) to estimate the
potential carbon content in the topsoil. CRAH is the
ratio of humus content in the soil layer 0-30 cm to
10% of the content of physical clay (PhC). PhC is the
sum of soil particles less than 0.01 mm. PhC is the
Some Approaches to Measuring Soil’s Carbon Sequestration Potential in Ukraine
main characteristic of the particle size distribution in
the scientific schools of the countries of the former
We calculate CRAH for a soil layer of 0-30 cm by
the equation:
СRAH = H*10/PhC (3)
H – humus content is soil, %
PhC – physical clay content in soil, %
Physical clay is the sum of soil particles with a
size of <0,01 mm. Polupan et al. proposed regression
equations of CRAH dependence on HTC (Selyaninov
hydrothermal coefficient) for the period April-
September for the main soil types and subtypes.
Traditionally in Soviet times, when determining
the humus content in soils, they analytically
determined the content of organic carbon (Corg),
calculated the humus content by multiplying the Corg
content by a factor of 1,724. Accordingly, it is
possible to transform CRAH into Coefficient relative
accumulation of organic carbon (RAC coefficient) by
the equation:
RAC=CRAH/1,724 (4)
The sequestration potential was calculated using
the RAC coefficient for Luvic chernozem (PhC =
48%, RAC = 0,64) and Phaeozem (PhC = 49%, RAC
= 0,42) SOC0 by the equation:
= (PhC * RAC) / 10 (5)
We obtained SOC1 and PhC values during field
surveys of Rohan’s polygon and Lubotin’s polygon
and Phaeozem. RAC values were calculated
according to formula 3, and CRAH - according to the
regression equations proposed in (Polupan et al.,
2016). The evaluation results are given in Table 3.
Table 3: Estimation of sequestration potential using RAC
Soil SOC
% t/ha
2,02 1,27 0,75 29,41
Phaeozem 3,09 2,15 0,94 36,83
Both research sites are located on slopes of about
in Kharkiv district, Kharkiv region, Ukraine.
Samples were taken on a regular grid at a depth of 10
cm. To calculate the sequestration potential, we
selected data from points diagnosed as non-eroded or
weakly eroded, and calculated the average value of
organic carbon SOC1 for a depth of 0-30 cm for each
soil type. Because the erosion of the soils is poor, we
obtained slightly higher values than in other methods
of calculating relative carbon losses (RL). They are
30,1% for Chernozem and 37,3% for Phaeozem.
However, the order of magnitude of the sequestration
potential in all these methods of evaluation is close.
There is another important underestimated aspect
in the assessment of the soil potential for carbon
sequestration, when using equilibrium level of carbon
content in the soils of placors as an SOC0. Sloping
soils, of which more than 40% are in Ukraine, differ
from plakor soils in the course of soil-forming
processes and, accordingly, in the ability to
accumulate organic carbon. In addition, most of the
sloping soils are eroded to some degree, which also
affects the intensity of carbon sequestration.
In Ukraine, soil-forming conditions on slopes, as
a rule, are more arid (xeromorphism) than on placors.
Thus, many sloping soils are xeromorphic, i.e. formed
in relatively arid conditions. According to the laws of
humus profile of soil formation in Ukraine conditions
(Polupan et al., 2008), xeromorphic soils have a
reduced profile and lower potential of humus content.
Therefore, they have lower carbon sequestration
potential compared to modal soils with the same
degree of dehumification .
Soil erosion affects SOCseq in the opposite way.
The greater the degree of soil erosion, the more
carbon it is able to potentially accumulate. It is clear
that for this reason we must stop erosion processes.
Considering the opposite effects of erosion and
xeromorphism when estimating the potential for soil
sequestration, we propose to use empirical models of
the dependence of SOC content in the arable layer on
the parameters characterizing the heterogeneity of
sloping soils.
Using the geoinformation relief analysis, the
authors developed a method of modeling the potential
humus content in chernozem soils of slopes the
authors have analyzed a large sample of undegraded
chernozem soils of forest-steppe and steppe of
Ukraine, and successfully used it to assess slope
erosion (Achasov et al., 2019a, 2019b). The same
approach, i.e. modeling of the potential carbon
content in the soil depending on the spatial
heterogeneity of hydrothermal conditions and particle
size distribution, is the most promising for the spatial
assessment of carbon sequestration potential at the
level of individual farms. Our assessment of the
chernozem sequestration potential, typical of the
Lyubotyn research testing ground, also gave average
values of PSOCseq values of about 36 t/ha. However,
ISC SAI 2022 - V International Scientific Congress SOCIETY OF AMBIENT INTELLIGENCE
the advantage of the method of geoinformation
modeling is in the possibility of obtaining not point,
but continuous estimates of SOCseq, taking into
account the spatial heterogeneity of humus
accumulation conditions.
Therefore, the authors propose four possible ways
to assess the potential of soil for SECseq carbon
1. By estimating the difference between
historically known data and the results of modern soil
and agrochemical surveys. As our research has
shown, such estimates give results close to those of
real surveys of virgin soils. Therefore, they are quite
acceptable for estimating the contribution of carbon
sequestration to total emission reductions at the state
2. By assessing the difference between arable soils
and virgin soil analogues. The method has significant
limitations, as there are almost no fertile virgin soils
left on the plateaus in Ukraine. Fallow lands cannot
be a full-fledged analogue of virgin soil because they
are usually partially restored soil that has not reached
3. By determining the theoretically possible level
of carbon accumulation in soils at the level of the
subtype of the calculated coefficients of dependence
of humus accumulation on the content of physical
clay (CRAH).
4. By estimating a theoretically possible level of
carbon accumulation based on empirical models. In
contrast to the first two methods, this method will
give slightly reduced values of the sequestration
potential, as empirical models use the parameters of
arable soils, already dehumified relative to virgin
analogues. This approach will lead to more realistic
values of sequestration, if used in intensive
agricultural production in compliance with
technological requirements for the preservation of
organic matter.
Simulation of carbon sequestration process is also
possible by using mathematical models of humus
accumulation, for example RothC (Coleman and
Jenkinson, 2014; Shirato, 2020). However, this model
needs verification and adaptation to the conditions of
Ukraine. We do not know what the upper limit of
carbon accumulation is. Moreover, the course of
simulated sequestration rigidly relates to climatic
parameters and quantity of coming organic residues
in conditions of real farms are not always possible to
In order to achieve carbon neutrality of the economy,
it is necessary to focus efforts on the reproduction of
humus content in the soils of agricultural lands.
Dehumified over the long history of agricultural use,
Ukraine's soil can now be a huge reservoir for
sequestration of organic carbon. According to rough
estimates, Ukraine's arable land alone is potentially
capable of absorbing 757,7 million tons or 2,78
billion tons of CO2eq of carbon, which is 7,8 times
higher than projected annual emissions for Ukraine's
entire economy according to NDCs until 2050
(Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of
Ukraine, 2021).
The authors propose four ways to establish the
potential for sequestration of organic carbon in the
soils of Ukraine. We can use each of them at a certain
level of formation and implementation of the
ESCCASU30. In particular, using the first method
(according to agrochemical surveys and archival data
from 1882), we recommended to assess the general
and regional potential of carbon sequestration.
The second method (virgin standards) has limited
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fields and to audit sequestration for the introduction
of carbon certificates, the authors recommend to use
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