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Title: Forests dominate the interannual variability of the North American carbon sink

Abstract

Understanding what drives the interannual variability (IAV) of the land carbon sink is crucial for improving future predictions of this important, yet uncertain, component of the climate system. While drivers of global and hemispheric-scale net ecosystem exchange (NEE) IAV have been investigated, our understanding of the drivers of NEE IAV at regional scales (e.g. sub-continental, biome-level) is quite poor. Here we explore the biome-level attribution and drivers of North American NEE using inverse estimates derived from a dense network of atmospheric CO2 observations. We find that deciduous broadleaf and mixed forests are the primary regions responsible for North American NEE IAV, which differs from the ecoregions identified for the globe and Northern Hemisphere. We also find that a suite of terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) do not agree on the dominant biome contributing to NEE IAV, with TBMs falling along an apparent spectrum ranging between those with IAV dominated primarily by forested ecosystems to those with IAV dominated by non-forested ecosystems. Furthermore, this regional trade-off in TBM NEE IAV is found to be linked to differing regional responses to environmental drivers among TBMs. This work displays the importance of extra-tropical forests in driving continental NEE IAV and also highlights the challengesmore » and limitations of using TBMs to inform regional-scale carbon flux dynamics.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [6];  [4]; ORCiD logo [7]
  1. Carnegie Inst. for Science, Stanford, CA (United States). Dept. of Global Ecology; Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Carnegie Inst. for Science, Stanford, CA (United States). Dept. of Global Ecology
  3. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). National Snow and Ice Data Center. Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences
  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States). Earth Science Research Lab.
  5. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States). Center for Ecosystem Science and Society
  6. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States). School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability; Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA (United States)
  7. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Carnegie Inst. for Science, Stanford, CA (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); National Science Foundation (NSF); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1463982
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; AC09-08SR22470; AC02-05CH11231; FG02-06ER64315; NNH14AY37I; NNH16AC91I; 80NSSC18K0165; NNX13AC48G; NNX10AG01A; NNH10AN681; NNH10DA001N; ATM-0221850; NA08OAR4310533; NA11OAR4310056
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Shiga, Yoichi P., Michalak, Anna M., Fang, Yuanyuan, Schaefer, Kevin, Andrews, Arlyn E., Huntzinger, Deborah H., Schwalm, Christopher R., Thoning, Kirk, and Wei, Yaxing. Forests dominate the interannual variability of the North American carbon sink. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aad505.
Shiga, Yoichi P., Michalak, Anna M., Fang, Yuanyuan, Schaefer, Kevin, Andrews, Arlyn E., Huntzinger, Deborah H., Schwalm, Christopher R., Thoning, Kirk, & Wei, Yaxing. Forests dominate the interannual variability of the North American carbon sink. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aad505.
Shiga, Yoichi P., Michalak, Anna M., Fang, Yuanyuan, Schaefer, Kevin, Andrews, Arlyn E., Huntzinger, Deborah H., Schwalm, Christopher R., Thoning, Kirk, and Wei, Yaxing. Mon . "Forests dominate the interannual variability of the North American carbon sink". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aad505. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1463982.
@article{osti_1463982,
title = {Forests dominate the interannual variability of the North American carbon sink},
author = {Shiga, Yoichi P. and Michalak, Anna M. and Fang, Yuanyuan and Schaefer, Kevin and Andrews, Arlyn E. and Huntzinger, Deborah H. and Schwalm, Christopher R. and Thoning, Kirk and Wei, Yaxing},
abstractNote = {Understanding what drives the interannual variability (IAV) of the land carbon sink is crucial for improving future predictions of this important, yet uncertain, component of the climate system. While drivers of global and hemispheric-scale net ecosystem exchange (NEE) IAV have been investigated, our understanding of the drivers of NEE IAV at regional scales (e.g. sub-continental, biome-level) is quite poor. Here we explore the biome-level attribution and drivers of North American NEE using inverse estimates derived from a dense network of atmospheric CO2 observations. We find that deciduous broadleaf and mixed forests are the primary regions responsible for North American NEE IAV, which differs from the ecoregions identified for the globe and Northern Hemisphere. We also find that a suite of terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) do not agree on the dominant biome contributing to NEE IAV, with TBMs falling along an apparent spectrum ranging between those with IAV dominated primarily by forested ecosystems to those with IAV dominated by non-forested ecosystems. Furthermore, this regional trade-off in TBM NEE IAV is found to be linked to differing regional responses to environmental drivers among TBMs. This work displays the importance of extra-tropical forests in driving continental NEE IAV and also highlights the challenges and limitations of using TBMs to inform regional-scale carbon flux dynamics.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/aad505},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
number = 8,
volume = 13,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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