skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Weakening temperature control on the interannual variations of spring carbon uptake across northern lands

Abstract

Ongoing spring warming allows the growing season to begin earlier, enhancing carbon uptake in northern ecosystems. We use 34 years of atmospheric CO 2 concentration measurements at Barrow, Alaska (BRW, 71° N) to show that the interannual relationship between spring temperature and carbon uptake has recently shifted. Here, we use two indicators: the spring zero-crossing date of atmospheric CO 2 (SZC) and the magnitude of CO 2 drawdown between May and June (SCC). The previously reported strong correlation between SZC, SCC and spring land temperature (ST) was found in the first 17 years of measurements, but disappeared in the last 17 years. As a result, the sensitivity of both SZC and SCC to warming decreased. Simulations with an atmospheric transport model coupled to a terrestrial ecosystem model suggest that the weakened interannual correlation of SZC and SCC with ST in the last 17 years is attributable to the declining temperature response of spring net primary productivity (NPP) rather than to changes in heterotrophic respiration or in atmospheric transport patterns. Reduced chilling during dormancy and emerging light limitation are possible mechanisms that may have contributed to the loss of NPP response to ST. These results thus challenge the ‘warmer spring–bigger sink’more » mechanism.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [2];  [4];  [2]; ORCiD logo [5];  [6];  [4];  [7];  [8];  [4]; ORCiD logo [9];  [10];  [3];  [11]; ORCiD logo [12]; ORCiD logo [9];  [13];  [2] more »;  [2];  [14] « less
  1. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China); Peking Univ., Beijing (China)
  2. Peking Univ., Beijing (China)
  3. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China)
  4. Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
  5. Stanford Univ., CA (United States)
  6. Univ. of Oslo (Norway)
  7. Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk (Belgium)
  8. South Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Shenzhen (China)
  9. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  10. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth Systems Research Lab., Boulder, CO (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  11. Boston Univ., MA (United States)
  12. Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), Barcelona (Spain)
  13. Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller (Norway)
  14. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth Systems Research Lab., Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1376651
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature Climate Change
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1758-678X
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; biogeochemistry; ecological modelling

Citation Formats

Piao, Shilong, Liu, Zhuo, Wang, Tao, Peng, Shushi, Ciais, Philippe, Huang, Mengtian, Ahlstrom, Anders, Burkhart, John F., Chevallier, Frédéric, Janssens, Ivan A., Jeong, Su-Jong, Lin, Xin, Mao, Jiafu, Miller, John, Mohammat, Anwar, Myneni, Ranga B., Peñuelas, Josep, Shi, Xiaoying, Stohl, Andreas, Yao, Yitong, Zhu, Zaichun, and Tans, Pieter P. Weakening temperature control on the interannual variations of spring carbon uptake across northern lands. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/nclimate3277.
Piao, Shilong, Liu, Zhuo, Wang, Tao, Peng, Shushi, Ciais, Philippe, Huang, Mengtian, Ahlstrom, Anders, Burkhart, John F., Chevallier, Frédéric, Janssens, Ivan A., Jeong, Su-Jong, Lin, Xin, Mao, Jiafu, Miller, John, Mohammat, Anwar, Myneni, Ranga B., Peñuelas, Josep, Shi, Xiaoying, Stohl, Andreas, Yao, Yitong, Zhu, Zaichun, & Tans, Pieter P. Weakening temperature control on the interannual variations of spring carbon uptake across northern lands. United States. doi:10.1038/nclimate3277.
Piao, Shilong, Liu, Zhuo, Wang, Tao, Peng, Shushi, Ciais, Philippe, Huang, Mengtian, Ahlstrom, Anders, Burkhart, John F., Chevallier, Frédéric, Janssens, Ivan A., Jeong, Su-Jong, Lin, Xin, Mao, Jiafu, Miller, John, Mohammat, Anwar, Myneni, Ranga B., Peñuelas, Josep, Shi, Xiaoying, Stohl, Andreas, Yao, Yitong, Zhu, Zaichun, and Tans, Pieter P. Mon . "Weakening temperature control on the interannual variations of spring carbon uptake across northern lands". United States. doi:10.1038/nclimate3277.
@article{osti_1376651,
title = {Weakening temperature control on the interannual variations of spring carbon uptake across northern lands},
author = {Piao, Shilong and Liu, Zhuo and Wang, Tao and Peng, Shushi and Ciais, Philippe and Huang, Mengtian and Ahlstrom, Anders and Burkhart, John F. and Chevallier, Frédéric and Janssens, Ivan A. and Jeong, Su-Jong and Lin, Xin and Mao, Jiafu and Miller, John and Mohammat, Anwar and Myneni, Ranga B. and Peñuelas, Josep and Shi, Xiaoying and Stohl, Andreas and Yao, Yitong and Zhu, Zaichun and Tans, Pieter P.},
abstractNote = {Ongoing spring warming allows the growing season to begin earlier, enhancing carbon uptake in northern ecosystems. We use 34 years of atmospheric CO2 concentration measurements at Barrow, Alaska (BRW, 71° N) to show that the interannual relationship between spring temperature and carbon uptake has recently shifted. Here, we use two indicators: the spring zero-crossing date of atmospheric CO2 (SZC) and the magnitude of CO2 drawdown between May and June (SCC). The previously reported strong correlation between SZC, SCC and spring land temperature (ST) was found in the first 17 years of measurements, but disappeared in the last 17 years. As a result, the sensitivity of both SZC and SCC to warming decreased. Simulations with an atmospheric transport model coupled to a terrestrial ecosystem model suggest that the weakened interannual correlation of SZC and SCC with ST in the last 17 years is attributable to the declining temperature response of spring net primary productivity (NPP) rather than to changes in heterotrophic respiration or in atmospheric transport patterns. Reduced chilling during dormancy and emerging light limitation are possible mechanisms that may have contributed to the loss of NPP response to ST. These results thus challenge the ‘warmer spring–bigger sink’ mechanism.},
doi = {10.1038/nclimate3277},
journal = {Nature Climate Change},
issn = {1758-678X},
number = 5,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {4}
}

Works referenced in this record:

An ecosystem model of the global ocean including Fe, Si, P colimitations: AN ECOSYSTEM MODEL OF THE WORLD OCEAN
journal, June 2003

  • Aumont, Olivier; Maier-Reimer, Ernst; Blain, Stéphane
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 17, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1029/2001GB001745

Has the advancing onset of spring vegetation green-up slowed down or changed abruptly over the last three decades?: 30-year change of spring vegetation phenology
journal, January 2015

  • Wang, Xuhui; Piao, Shilong; Xu, Xiangtao
  • Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 24, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1111/geb.12289

The LMDZ4 general circulation model: climate performance and sensitivity to parametrized physics with emphasis on tropical convection
journal, August 2006


An interpretation of trace gas correlations during Barrow, Alaska, winter dark periods, 1986-1997
journal, July 2000

  • Harris, J. M.; Dlugokencky, E. J.; Oltmans, S. J.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 105, Issue D13
  • DOI: 10.1029/2000JD900167

A backward modeling study of intercontinental pollution transport using aircraft measurements
journal, January 2003


Large-scale variations in the vegetation growing season and annual cycle of atmospheric CO 2 at high northern latitudes from 1950 to 2011
journal, August 2013

  • Barichivich, Jonathan; Briffa, Keith R.; Myneni, Ranga B.
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12283

Declining global warming effects on the phenology of spring leaf unfolding
journal, September 2015

  • Fu, Yongshuo H.; Zhao, Hongfang; Piao, Shilong
  • Nature, Vol. 526, Issue 7571
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature15402

Inferring CO 2 sources and sinks from satellite observations: Method and application to TOVS data
journal, January 2005

  • Chevallier, F.; Fisher, M.; Peylin, P.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 110, Issue D24
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005JD006390

An extended AVHRR 8‐km NDVI dataset compatible with MODIS and SPOT vegetation NDVI data
journal, October 2005

  • Tucker, Compton J.; Pinzon, Jorge E.; Brown, Molly E.
  • International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 26, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1080/01431160500168686

Influence of spring and autumn phenological transitions on forest ecosystem productivity
journal, October 2010

  • Richardson, Andrew D.; Andy Black, T.; Ciais, Philippe
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 365, Issue 1555
  • DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0102

Increased carbon sequestration by a boreal deciduous forest in years with a warm spring
journal, May 2000

  • Black, T. A.; Chen, W. J.; Barr, A. G.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 27, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999GL011234

Estimating northern hemisphere snow water equivalent for climate research through assimilation of space-borne radiometer data and ground-based measurements
journal, December 2011

  • Takala, Matias; Luojus, Kari; Pulliainen, Jouni
  • Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 115, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2011.08.014

Net carbon dioxide losses of northern ecosystems in response to autumn warming
journal, January 2008

  • Piao, Shilong; Ciais, Philippe; Friedlingstein, Pierre
  • Nature, Vol. 451, Issue 7174
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature06444

Global Carbon Budget 2015
journal, January 2015

  • Le Quéré, C.; Moriarty, R.; Andrew, R. M.
  • Earth System Science Data, Vol. 7, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.5194/essd-7-349-2015

A dynamic global vegetation model for studies of the coupled atmosphere-biosphere system: DVGM FOR COUPLED CLIMATE STUDIES
journal, February 2005

  • Krinner, G.; Viovy, Nicolas; de Noblet-Ducoudré, Nathalie
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 19, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2003GB002199

An estimate of the terrestrial carbon budget of Russia using inventory-based, eddy covariance and inversion methods
journal, January 2012

  • Dolman, A. J.; Shvidenko, A.; Schepaschenko, D.
  • Biogeosciences, Vol. 9, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.5194/bg-9-5323-2012

An assessment of the carbon balance of Arctic tundra: comparisons among observations, process models, and atmospheric inversions
journal, January 2012


Atmospheric carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa Observatory: 2. Analysis of the NOAA GMCC data, 1974-1985
journal, June 1989

  • Thoning, Kirk W.; Tans, Pieter P.; Komhyr, Walter D.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 94, Issue D6
  • DOI: 10.1029/JD094iD06p08549

Biogeochemical fluxes through microzooplankton: GLOBAL MICROZOOPLANKTON BIOGEOCHEMISTRY
journal, November 2010

  • Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Rivkin, Richard B.; Sailley, Sévrine
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 24, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2009GB003601

An improved method of constructing a database of monthly climate observations and associated high-resolution grids
journal, January 2005

  • Mitchell, Timothy D.; Jones, Philip D.
  • International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 25, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/joc.1181

Temperature, precipitation, and insolation effects on autumn vegetation phenology in temperate China
journal, November 2015

  • Liu, Qiang; Fu, Yongshuo H.; Zeng, Zhenzhong
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 22, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13081

Enhanced Seasonal Exchange of CO2 by Northern Ecosystems Since 1960
journal, August 2013


Increases in early season ecosystem uptake explain recent changes in the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO 2 at high northern latitudes
journal, September 1999

  • Randerson, J. T.; Field, C. B.; Fung, I. Y.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 26, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999GL900500

Arctic tree rings as recorders of variations in light availability
journal, May 2014

  • Stine, A. R.; Huybers, P.
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4836

The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project
journal, March 1996


Increased activity of northern vegetation inferred from atmospheric CO2 measurements
journal, July 1996

  • Keeling, C. D.; Chin, J. F. S.; Whorf, T. P.
  • Nature, Vol. 382, Issue 6587
  • DOI: 10.1038/382146a0

Drier summers cancel out the CO2 uptake enhancement induced by warmer springs
journal, July 2005

  • Angert, A.; Biraud, S.; Bonfils, C.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 102, Issue 31
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0501647102

Evidence for a weakening relationship between interannual temperature variability and northern vegetation activity
journal, October 2014

  • Piao, Shilong; Nan, Huijuan; Huntingford, Chris
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6018

Winter and spring warming result in delayed spring phenology on the Tibetan Plateau
journal, November 2010

  • Yu, H.; Luedeling, E.; Xu, J.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107, Issue 51
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1012490107

Technical note: The Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART version 6.2
journal, January 2005

  • Stohl, A.; Forster, C.; Frank, A.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 5, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-5-2461-2005

Sensitivity of Boreal Forest Carbon Balance to Soil Thaw
journal, January 1998


Potential impact of changes in river nutrient supply on global ocean biogeochemistry: IMPACT OF RIVER NUTRIENTS ON THE OCEAN
journal, October 2007

  • Cotrim da Cunha, Leticia; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Le Quéré, Corinne
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 21, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006GB002718