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Title: Observing terrestrial ecosystems and the carbon cycle from space

Modeled terrestrial ecosystem and carbon cycle feedbacks contribute substantial uncertainty to projections of future climate. The limitations of current observing networks contribute to this uncertainty. Here we present a current climatology of global model predictions and observations for photosynthesis, biomass, plant diversity and plant functional diversity. Carbon cycle tipping points occur in terrestrial regions where fluxes or stocks are largest, and where biological variability is highest, the tropics and Arctic/Boreal zones. Global observations are predominately in the mid-latitudes and are sparse in high and low latitude ecosystems. Observing and forecasting ecosystem change requires sustained observations of sufficient density in time and space in critical regions. Using data and theory available now, we can develop a strategy to detect and forecast terrestrial carbon cycle-climate interactions, by combining in situ and remote techniques.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Global Change Biology, 21(5):1762-1776
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Terrestrial; ecosystems; carbon cycle; space; climate; uncertainty; global; model