Lower land-use emissions responsible for increased net land carbon sink during the slow warming period - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Nature Geoscience Year : 2018

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

Shilong Piao
  • Function : Author
Mengtian Huang
  • Function : Author
Zhuo Liu
  • Function : Author
Josep G. Canadell
  • Function : Author
Kai Wang
  • Function : Author
Pierre Friedlingstein
  • Function : Author
Richard A. Houghton
  • Function : Author
Corinne Le Quéré
  • Function : Author
Yongwen Liu
  • Function : Author
Ranga B. Myneni
  • Function : Author
Shushi Peng
  • Function : Author
Julia Pongratz
  • Function : Author
Stephen Sitch
  • Function : Author
Tao Yan
  • Function : Author
Zaichun Zhu
  • Function : Author
Donghai Wu
  • Function : Author
Tao Wang
  • Function : Author

Abstract

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.

Dates and versions

insu-03721862 , version 1 (13-07-2022)

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Shilong Piao, Mengtian Huang, Zhuo Liu, Xuhui Wang, Philippe Ciais, et al.. Lower land-use emissions responsible for increased net land carbon sink during the slow warming period. Nature Geoscience, 2018, 11, pp.739-743. ⟨10.1038/s41561-018-0204-7⟩. ⟨insu-03721862⟩
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