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Title: Pronounced and unavoidable impacts of low-end global warming on northern high-latitude land ecosystems

Abstract

Arctic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change because of Arctic amplification. Here, we assessed the climatic impacts of low-end, 1.5 °C, and 2.0 °C global temperature increases above pre-industrial levels, on the warming of terrestrial ecosystems in northern high latitudes (NHL, above 60 °N including pan-Arctic tundra and boreal forests) under the framework of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project phase 2b protocol. We analyzed the simulated changes of net primary productivity, vegetation biomass, and soil carbon stocks of eight ecosystem models that were forced by the projections of four global climate models and two atmospheric greenhouse gas pathways (RCP2.6 and RCP6.0). Our results showed that considerable impacts on ecosystem carbon budgets, particularly primary productivity and vegetation biomass, are very likely to occur in the NHL areas. The models agreed on increases in primary productivity and biomass accumulation, despite considerable inter-model and inter-scenario differences in the magnitudes of the responses. The inter-model variability highlighted the inadequacies of the present models, which fail to consider important components such as permafrost and wildfire. The simulated impacts were attributable primarily to the rapid temperature increases in the NHL and the greater sensitivity of northern vegetation to warming, which contrasted with the lessmore » pronounced responses of soil carbon stocks. The simulated increases of vegetation biomass by 30–60 Pg C in this century have implications for climate policy such as the Paris Agreement. Comparison between the results at two warming levels showed the effectiveness of emission reductions in ameliorating the impacts and revealed unavoidable impacts for which adaptation options are urgently needed in the NHL ecosystems.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5]; ORCiD logo [6];  [7]; ORCiD logo [2];  [8];  [9];  [8]
  1. National Inst. for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba (Japan); Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama (Japan)
  2. Potsdam Inst. for Climate Impact Research (Germany)
  3. Laboratoire des Sciences du Climate et de l'Environment (IPSL-LSCE), Paris (France)
  4. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  5. Univ. of Liege (Belgium)
  6. Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (BiK-F), Frankfurt (Germany)
  7. Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (BiK-F), Frankfurt (Germany); Goethe Univ., Frankfurt (Germany)
  8. Auburn Univ., AL (United States)
  9. ETH Zurich (Switzerland); Vrije Univ. Brussel, Brussels (Belgium)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1634210
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-151785
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830; 01LS1711A; 80HQTR19T0055; 1903722
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Biome sector; ISIMIP2b; northern high latitudes; Paris agreement; climatic impacts

Citation Formats

Ito, Akihiko, Reyer, Christopher P. O., Gädeke, Anne, Ciais, Philippe, Chang, Jinfeng, Chen, Min, François, Louis, Forrest, Matthew, Hickler, Thomas, Ostberg, Sebastian, Shi, Hao, Thiery, Wim, and Tian, Hanqin. Pronounced and unavoidable impacts of low-end global warming on northern high-latitude land ecosystems. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab702b.
Ito, Akihiko, Reyer, Christopher P. O., Gädeke, Anne, Ciais, Philippe, Chang, Jinfeng, Chen, Min, François, Louis, Forrest, Matthew, Hickler, Thomas, Ostberg, Sebastian, Shi, Hao, Thiery, Wim, & Tian, Hanqin. Pronounced and unavoidable impacts of low-end global warming on northern high-latitude land ecosystems. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab702b
Ito, Akihiko, Reyer, Christopher P. O., Gädeke, Anne, Ciais, Philippe, Chang, Jinfeng, Chen, Min, François, Louis, Forrest, Matthew, Hickler, Thomas, Ostberg, Sebastian, Shi, Hao, Thiery, Wim, and Tian, Hanqin. Fri . "Pronounced and unavoidable impacts of low-end global warming on northern high-latitude land ecosystems". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab702b. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1634210.
@article{osti_1634210,
title = {Pronounced and unavoidable impacts of low-end global warming on northern high-latitude land ecosystems},
author = {Ito, Akihiko and Reyer, Christopher P. O. and Gädeke, Anne and Ciais, Philippe and Chang, Jinfeng and Chen, Min and François, Louis and Forrest, Matthew and Hickler, Thomas and Ostberg, Sebastian and Shi, Hao and Thiery, Wim and Tian, Hanqin},
abstractNote = {Arctic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change because of Arctic amplification. Here, we assessed the climatic impacts of low-end, 1.5 °C, and 2.0 °C global temperature increases above pre-industrial levels, on the warming of terrestrial ecosystems in northern high latitudes (NHL, above 60 °N including pan-Arctic tundra and boreal forests) under the framework of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project phase 2b protocol. We analyzed the simulated changes of net primary productivity, vegetation biomass, and soil carbon stocks of eight ecosystem models that were forced by the projections of four global climate models and two atmospheric greenhouse gas pathways (RCP2.6 and RCP6.0). Our results showed that considerable impacts on ecosystem carbon budgets, particularly primary productivity and vegetation biomass, are very likely to occur in the NHL areas. The models agreed on increases in primary productivity and biomass accumulation, despite considerable inter-model and inter-scenario differences in the magnitudes of the responses. The inter-model variability highlighted the inadequacies of the present models, which fail to consider important components such as permafrost and wildfire. The simulated impacts were attributable primarily to the rapid temperature increases in the NHL and the greater sensitivity of northern vegetation to warming, which contrasted with the less pronounced responses of soil carbon stocks. The simulated increases of vegetation biomass by 30–60 Pg C in this century have implications for climate policy such as the Paris Agreement. Comparison between the results at two warming levels showed the effectiveness of emission reductions in ameliorating the impacts and revealed unavoidable impacts for which adaptation options are urgently needed in the NHL ecosystems.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/ab702b},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
number = 4,
volume = 15,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

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