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Title: Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production

Abstract

Growth in terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) may provide a negative feedback for climate change. It remains uncertain, however, to what extent biogeochemical processes can suppress global GPP growth. In consequence, model estimates of terrestrial carbon storage and carbon cycle –climate feedbacks remain poorly constrained. Here we present a global, measurement-based estimate of GPP growth during the twentieth century based on long-term atmospheric carbonyl sulphide (COS) records derived from ice core, firn, and ambient air samples. Here, we interpret these records using a model that simulates changes in COS concentration due to changes in its sources and sinks, including a large sink that is related to GPP. We find that the COS record is most consistent with climate-carbon cycle model simulations that assume large GPP growth during the twentieth century (31% ± 5%; mean ± 95% confidence interval). Finally, while this COS analysis does not directly constrain estimates of future GPP growth it provides a global-scale benchmark for historical carbon cycle simulations.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [7];  [8]
  1. Univ. of California, Merced, CA (United States). Sierra Nevada Research Inst.
  2. Carnegie Inst. for Science, Stanford, CA (United States). Dept. of Global Ecology
  3. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  4. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.
  5. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States). Earth System Research Lab.
  6. Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), Gif-sur-Yvette (France); French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Villenave-d'Ornon (France)
  7. Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
  8. Finnish Meteorological Inst. (FMI), Helsinki (Finland)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
UC Merced
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); European Research Council (ERC); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
OSTI Identifier:
1398774
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0011999; 267442; 641816; 338264
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature (London)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Nature (London); Journal Volume: 544; Journal Issue: 7648; Journal ID: ISSN 0028-0836
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; carbon cycle; carbon dioxide; gross primary production; co2 fertilization; photosynthesis; carbonyl sulfide

Citation Formats

Campbell, J. E., Berry, J. A., Seibt, U., Smith, S. J., Montzka, S. A., Launois, T., Belviso, S., Bopp, L., and Laine, M. Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/nature22030.
Campbell, J. E., Berry, J. A., Seibt, U., Smith, S. J., Montzka, S. A., Launois, T., Belviso, S., Bopp, L., & Laine, M. Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production. United States. doi:10.1038/nature22030.
Campbell, J. E., Berry, J. A., Seibt, U., Smith, S. J., Montzka, S. A., Launois, T., Belviso, S., Bopp, L., and Laine, M. Wed . "Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production". United States. doi:10.1038/nature22030. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1398774.
@article{osti_1398774,
title = {Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production},
author = {Campbell, J. E. and Berry, J. A. and Seibt, U. and Smith, S. J. and Montzka, S. A. and Launois, T. and Belviso, S. and Bopp, L. and Laine, M.},
abstractNote = {Growth in terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) may provide a negative feedback for climate change. It remains uncertain, however, to what extent biogeochemical processes can suppress global GPP growth. In consequence, model estimates of terrestrial carbon storage and carbon cycle –climate feedbacks remain poorly constrained. Here we present a global, measurement-based estimate of GPP growth during the twentieth century based on long-term atmospheric carbonyl sulphide (COS) records derived from ice core, firn, and ambient air samples. Here, we interpret these records using a model that simulates changes in COS concentration due to changes in its sources and sinks, including a large sink that is related to GPP. We find that the COS record is most consistent with climate-carbon cycle model simulations that assume large GPP growth during the twentieth century (31% ± 5%; mean ± 95% confidence interval). Finally, while this COS analysis does not directly constrain estimates of future GPP growth it provides a global-scale benchmark for historical carbon cycle simulations.},
doi = {10.1038/nature22030},
journal = {Nature (London)},
number = 7648,
volume = 544,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 13works
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  • Growth in terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) may provide a feedback for climate change, but there is still strong disagreement on the extent to which biogeochemical processes may suppress this GPP growth at the ecosystem to continental scales. The consequent uncertainty in modeling of future carbon storage by the terrestrial biosphere constitutes one of the largest unknowns in global climate projections for the next century. Here we provide a global, measurement-based estimate of historical GPP growth using long-term atmospheric carbonyl sulfide (COS) records derived from ice core, firn, and ambient air samples. We interpret these records using a model thatmore » relates changes in the COS concentration to changes in its sources and sinks, the largest of which is proportional to GPP. The COS history was most consistent with simulations that assume a large historical GPP growth. Carbon-climate models that assume little to no GPP growth predicted trajectories of COS concentration over the anthropogenic era that differ from those observed. Continued COS monitoring may be useful for detecting ongoing changes in GPP while extending the ice core record to glacial cycles could provide further opportunities to evaluate earth system models.« less
  • The terrestrial water and carbon cycles interact strongly at various spatio-temporal scales. To elucidate how hydrologic processes may influence carbon cycle processes, differences in terrestrial carbon cycle simulations induced by structural differences in two runoff generation schemes were investigated using the Community Land Model 4 (CLM4). Simulations were performed with runoff generation using the default TOPMODEL-based and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model approaches under the same experimental protocol. The comparisons showed that differences in the simulated gross primary production (GPP) are mainly attributed to differences in the simulated leaf area index (LAI) rather than soil moisture availability. More specifically,more » differences in runoff simulations can influence LAI through changes in soil moisture, soil temperature, and their seasonality that affect the onset of the growing season and the subsequent dynamic feedbacks between terrestrial water, energy, and carbon cycles. As a result of a relative difference of 36% in global mean total runoff between the two models and subsequent changes in soil moisture, soil temperature, and LAI, the simulated global mean GPP differs by 20.4%. However, the relative difference in the global mean net ecosystem exchange between the two models is small (2.1%) due to competing effects on total mean ecosystem respiration and other fluxes, although large regional differences can still be found. Our study highlights the significant interactions among the water, energy, and carbon cycles and the need for reducing uncertainty in the hydrologic parameterization of land surface models to better constrain carbon cycle modeling.« less
  • Here, the maximum photosynthetic carboxylation rate (V cmax) is an influential plant trait that has multiple scaling hypotheses, which is a source of uncertainty in predictive understanding of global gross primary production (GPP). Four trait-scaling hypotheses (plant functional type, nutrient limitation, environmental filtering, and plant plasticity) with nine specific implementations were used to predict global V cmax distributions and their impact on global GPP in the Sheffield Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (SDGVM). Global GPP varied from 108.1 to 128.2 PgC yr –1, 65% of the range of a recent model intercomparison of global GPP. The variation in GPP propagated throughmore » to a 27% coefficient of variation in net biome productivity (NBP). All hypotheses produced global GPP that was highly correlated ( r = 0.85–0.91) with three proxies of global GPP. Plant functional type-based nutrient limitation, underpinned by a core SDGVM hypothesis that plant nitrogen (N) status is inversely related to increasing costs of N acquisition with increasing soil carbon, adequately reproduced global GPP distributions. Further improvement could be achieved with accurate representation of water sensitivity and agriculture in SDGVM. Mismatch between environmental filtering (the most data-driven hypothesis) and GPP suggested that greater effort is needed understand V cmax variation in the field, particularly in northern latitudes.« less
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