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      Importance of biomass in the global carbon cycle : BIOMASS IN THE GLOBAL CARBON CYCLE

      , ,

      Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences

      American Geophysical Union (AGU)

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          Primary Production of the Biosphere: Integrating Terrestrial and Oceanic Components

           C Field (1998)
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            Carbon pools and flux of global forest ecosystems.

            Forest systems cover more than 4.1 x 10(9) hectares of the Earth's land area. Globally, forest vegetation and soils contain about 1146 petagrams of carbon, with approximately 37 percent of this carbon in low-latitude forests, 14 percent in mid-latitudes, and 49 percent at high latitudes. Over two-thirds of the carbon in forest ecosystems is contained in soils and associated peat deposits. In 1990, deforestation in the low latitudes emitted 1.6 +/- 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year, whereas forest area expansion and growth in mid- and high-latitude forest sequestered 0.7 +/- 0.2 petagrams of carbon per year, for a net flux to the atmosphere of 0.9 +/- 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year. Slowing deforestation, combined with an increase in forestation and other management measures to improve forest ecosystem productivity, could conserve or sequester significant quantities of carbon. Future forest carbon cycling trends attributable to losses and regrowth associated with global climate and land-use change are uncertain. Model projections and some results suggest that forests could be carbon sinks or sources in the future.
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              Towards robust regional estimates of CO2 sources and sinks using atmospheric transport models.

              Information about regional carbon sources and sinks can be derived from variations in observed atmospheric CO2 concentrations via inverse modelling with atmospheric tracer transport models. A consensus has not yet been reached regarding the size and distribution of regional carbon fluxes obtained using this approach, partly owing to the use of several different atmospheric transport models. Here we report estimates of surface-atmosphere CO2 fluxes from an intercomparison of atmospheric CO2 inversion models (the TransCom 3 project), which includes 16 transport models and model variants. We find an uptake of CO2 in the southern extratropical ocean less than that estimated from ocean measurements, a result that is not sensitive to transport models or methodological approaches. We also find a northern land carbon sink that is distributed relatively evenly among the continents of the Northern Hemisphere, but these results show some sensitivity to transport differences among models, especially in how they respond to seasonal terrestrial exchange of CO2. Overall, carbon fluxes integrated over latitudinal zones are strongly constrained by observations in the middle to high latitudes. Further significant constraints to our understanding of regional carbon fluxes will therefore require improvements in transport models and expansion of the CO2 observation network within the tropics.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
                J. Geophys. Res.
                American Geophysical Union (AGU)
                01480227
                June 2009
                June 2009
                : 114
                : G2
                : n/a
                Article
                10.1029/2009JG000935
                © 2009
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