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Title: Small global effect on terrestrial net primary production due to increased fossil fuel aerosol emissions from East Asia since the turn of the century

The global terrestrial carbon sink has increased since the start of this century at a time of growing carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning. Here we test the hypothesis that increases in atmospheric aerosols from fossil fuel burning enhanced the diffuse light fraction and the efficiency of plant carbon uptake. Using a combination of models, we estimate that at global scale changes in light regimes from fossil fuel aerosol emissions had only a small negative effect on the increase in terrestrial net primary production over the period 1998–2010. Hereby, the substantial increases in fossil fuel aerosol emissions and plant carbon uptake over East Asia were effectively canceled by opposing trends across Europe and North America. This suggests that if the recent increase in the land carbon sink would be causally linked to fossil fuel emissions, it is unlikely via the effect of aerosols but due to other factors such as nitrogen deposition or nitrogen-carbon interactions.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Leeds (United Kingdom). Inst. for Climate and Atmospheric Science. School of Earth and Environment
  2. Univ. of Leeds (United Kingdom). School of Geography
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0006708; FG02-04ER63917; FG02-04ER63911; CIG PCIG14-GA-2013-631812; NE/J004723/1; NE/J009822/1
Published Article
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Univ. of Leeds (United Kingdom)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); European Commission (EC); Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (United Kingdom)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; fossil fuel aerosol emission; East Asia; aerosol optical depth; diffuse radiation; net primary production
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1322427; OSTI ID: 1438188