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Soil moisture


  • Soil water retention is a major soil hydrological property that governs soil functioning in ecosystems and greatly affects soil management.
  • There is no clear indication on past trends for water retention across the EU due to a lack of systematic and harmonised data.
  • Water retention capacity and soil moisture content will be affected by rising temperatures and by a decline in soil organic matter due to both changes in climate and land management.
  • Projections (for 2071–2100) show a general reduction in summer soil moisture over most of Europe, significant reductions in the Mediterranean region, and increases in the north-eastern part of Europe.
  • Maintaining water retention capacity and porosity are important to reduce the impacts of intense rainfall and droughts, which are projected to become more frequent and severe.

Reference information

EEA - Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012 report


CLIM029, droughts, intense rainfall, land-management, soil moisture, soil organic matter

Climate impacts

Droughts, Flooding, Water Scarcity


Observations and Scenarios


Agriculture, Forestry, Water management

Geographic characterization


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