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Title: Observing terrestrial ecosystems and the carbon cycle from space

Modeled terrestrial ecosystem and carbon cycle feedbacks contribute substantial uncertainty to projections of future climate. The limitations of current observing networks contribute to this uncertainty. Here we present a current climatology of global model predictions and observations for photosynthesis, biomass, plant diversity and plant functional diversity. Carbon cycle tipping points occur in terrestrial regions where fluxes or stocks are largest, and where biological variability is highest, the tropics and Arctic/Boreal zones. Global observations are predominately in the mid-latitudes and are sparse in high and low latitude ecosystems. Observing and forecasting ecosystem change requires sustained observations of sufficient density in time and space in critical regions. Using data and theory available now, we can develop a strategy to detect and forecast terrestrial carbon cycle-climate interactions, by combining in situ and remote techniques.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA 91101 USA
  2. Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 260 Panama St. Stanford CA 94305 USA
  3. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA
  4. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PO Box 999 MSIN: K9-34 Richland WA 99352 USA
  5. College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, North Park Road Streatham Campus Harrison Building Exeter EX4 4QF UK
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Global Change Biology; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 5
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Terrestrial; ecosystems; carbon cycle; space; climate; uncertainty; global; model