Lower land-use emissions responsible for increased net land carbon sink during the slow warming period

Piao, Shilong, Huang, Mengtian, Liu, Zhuo, Wang, Xuhui, Ciais, Philippe, Canadell, Josep G., Wang, Kai, Bastos, Ana, Friedlingstein, Pierre, Houghton, Richard A., Le Quéré, Corinne, Liu, Yongwen, Myneni, Ranga B., Peng, Shushi, Pongratz, Julia, Sitch, Stephen, Yan, Tao, Wang, Yilong, Zhu, Zaichun, Wu, Donghai and Wang, Tao (2018) Lower land-use emissions responsible for increased net land carbon sink during the slow warming period. Nature Geoscience. ISSN 1752-0894

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      The terrestrial carbon sink accelerated during 1998–2012, concurrently with the slow warming period, but the mechanisms behind this acceleration are unclear. Here we analyse recent changes in the net land carbon sink (NLS) and its driving factors, using atmospheric inversions and terrestrial carbon models. We show that the linear trend of NLS during 1998–2012 is about 0.17 ± 0.05 Pg C yr−2 , which is three times larger than during 1980–1998 (0.05 ± 0.05 Pg C yr−2). According to terrestrial carbon model simulations, the intensification of the NLS cannot be explained by CO2 fertilization or climate change alone. We therefore use a bookkeeping model to explore the contribution of changes in land-use emissions and find that decreasing land-use emissions are the dominant cause of the intensification of the NLS during the slow warming period. This reduction of land-use emissions is due to both decreased tropical forest area loss and increased afforestation in northern temperate regions. The estimate based on atmospheric inversions shows consistently reduced land-use emissions, whereas another bookkeeping model did not reproduce such changes, probably owing to missing the signal of reduced tropical deforestation. These results highlight the importance of better constraining emissions from land-use change to understand recent trends in land carbon sinks.

      Item Type: Article
      Uncontrolled Keywords: earth and planetary sciences(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900
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      Depositing User: LivePure Connector
      Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:30
      Last Modified: 24 May 2019 13:32
      URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/68548
      DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0204-7

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