Policy support tool
The CENTURY Model Version 4.0 embodies our best understanding to date of the biogeochemistry of Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sulphur. The primary purposes of the model are to provide a tool for ecosystem analysis, to test the consistency of data and to evaluate the effects of changes in management and climate on ecosystems. Evolution of the model will continue as our understanding of biogeochemical processes improves. The identification of problem areas where processes are not adequately quantified is key to further developments. Ideally, model application will lead to the identification of needed research and new experimentation to improve understanding.
CENTURY is a general model of plant-soil nutrient cycling which has been used to simulate carbon and nutrient dynamics for different types of ecosystems. It can be used to assess soil matter turnover, which can indicate the state of degradation. CENTURY is composed of a soil organic matter/decomposition submodel, a water budget model, a grassland/crop submodel, a forest production submodel, and management and events scheduling functions. It computes the flow of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur through the model's compartments. It is a point-scale model and can be extrapolated to large spatial extents using remote sensing and GIS approaches. CENTURY was developed at the Colorado State University in the United States of America.