Trends and drivers of regional sources and sinks of carbon dioxide over the past two decades

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Author(s) Sitch, S.S., et al., Gruber, N.
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Trends and drivers of regional sources and sinks of carbon dioxide over the past two decades
Author(s) Sitch, S.S.
et al.
Gruber, N.
Journal or Series Title Biogeosciences discussions
Volume Number 10
Start Page 20113
End Page 20177
ISSN 1810-6277
Publisher Copernicus Publ.
Publication Place Göttingen
Publication Date 2014
Abstract The land and ocean absorb on average over half of the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. These CO2 "sinks" are modulated by climate change and variability. Here we use a suite of nine Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) and four Ocean Biogeochemical General Circulation Models (OBGCMs) to quantify the global and regional climate and atmospheric CO2 – driven trends in land and oceanic CO2 exchanges with the atmosphere over the period 1990–2009, attribute these trends to underlying processes, and quantify the uncertainty and level of model agreement. The models were forced with reconstructed climate fields and observed global atmospheric CO2; Land Use and Land Cover Changes are not included for the DGVMs. Over the period 1990–2009, the DGVMs simulate a mean global land carbon sink of −2.4 ± 0.7 Pg C yr−1 with a small significant trend of −0.06 ± 0.03 Pg C yr−2 (increasing sink). Over the more limited period 1990–2004, the ocean models simulate a mean ocean sink of –2.2 ± 0.2 Pg C yr–1 with a trend in the net C uptake that is indistinguishable from zero (−0.01 ± 0.02 Pg C yr−2). The two ocean models that extended the simulations until 2009 suggest a slightly stronger, but still small trend of −0.02 ± 0.01 Pg C yr−2. Trends from land and ocean models compare favourably to the land greenness trends from remote sensing, atmospheric inversion results, and the residual land sink required to close the global carbon budget. Trends in the land sink are driven by increasing net primary production (NPP) whose statistically significant trend of 0.22 ± 0.08 Pg C yr−2 exceeds a significant trend in heterotrophic respiration of 0.16 ± 0.05 Pg C yr−2 – primarily as a consequence of wide-spread CO2 fertilisation of plant production. Most of the land-based trend in simulated net carbon uptake originates from natural ecosystems in the tropics (−0.04 ± 0.01 Pg C yr−2), with almost no trend over the northern land region, where recent warming and reduced rainfall offsets the positive impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on carbon storage. The small uptake trend in the ocean models emerges because climate variability and change, and in particular increasing sea surface temperatures, tend to counteract the trend in ocean uptake driven by the increase in atmospheric CO2. Large uncertainty remains in the magnitude and sign of modelled carbon trends in several regions, and on the influence of land use and land cover changes on regional trends.
DOI 10.5194/bgd-10-20113-2013
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03731
Organisational Unit(s)
NEBIS System Number 010153508
Source Database ID FORM-1421395660
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  author = "Sitch, S.S. and et al. and Gruber, N.",
  title = "{T}rends and drivers of regional sources and sinks of carbon dioxide over the past two decades",
  journal = "Biogeosciences discussions",
  year = 2014,
  volume = "10",
  pages = "20113--20177",

E-Citations record created: Fri, 16 Jan 2015, 08:07:43 CET