Measurement and Monitoring Soil Carbon

Presentation and use of results

Presenting the results is straightforward. The estimates and maps can be presented in obvious ways. They should always be accompanied by estimates of error (see Figure 1). They should also be accompanied by a detailed description of the methods used, for example by reference to this protocol. Note that every part of the process needs to be described, not just the statistical, sampling or lab procedures. It is good practice to lodge all data from the exercise in a public archive. This allows the project keep data secure for follow up and allows others to make use of it for further analyses and to link it with other data. Suitable archives are at (AfSIS) or the project can make its own, for example in Dataverse (

Figure 1. Prediction maps of the lower limit, mean and upper limit (90% prediction interval) for organic carbon (permille) for the first standard depth (0-5 cm). White pixels indicate areas without any vegetation cover that have been masked out from the mapping.


It is good practice to conduct key category assessments for each land use category using the guidance provided in this chapter and in Chapter 5 Section 5.4:

     Within each land use category designated as key, to assess which subcategories are significant; and

     Use the results of this analysis to determine what categories and subcategories should be prioritized in terms of methodological choice.

Reporting categories are divided into greenhouse gases and land uses i.e., lands remaining in a use and lands converted to that use. Category estimates are a compilation of individual subcategories. Table 3.1.3 shows the subcategories within each reporting category. The reporting tables are given in Annex 3A.2. When compiling emissions and sinks estimates from land use, land-use change, and forestry with other elements of national greenhouse gas inventories, consistent signs (+/-) must be followed. In final reporting tables, emissions (decrease in the carbon stock, non-CO2 emissions) are always positive (+) and removals (increase in the carbon stock) negative (-). For calculating initial estimates, this chapter follows the convention used in Chapter 5 of the IPCC Guidelines in which net increases of carbon stocks are positive (+) and net decreases are negative (-). As is the case in the IPCC Guidelines, the signs of these values need to be converted in the final reporting tables in order to maintain consistency with other sections of national inventory reports.


Units of CO2 emissions/removals and emissions of non-CO2 gases are reported in gigagrams (Gg). To convert tonnes
C to Gg CO2, multiply the value by 44/12 and 10-3.



IPCC. 2003. Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry, In Penman, J., et al., eds. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan.