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Science. 2016 Feb 12;351(6274):696-9. doi: 10.1126/science.aac4971. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Enhanced seasonal CO2 exchange caused by amplified plant productivity in northern ecosystems.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany. matthias.forkel@geo.tuwien.ac.at ncarval@bgc-jena.mpg.de.
2
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany. CENSE, Departamento de Ciências e Engenharia do Ambiente, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Caparica, Portugal. matthias.forkel@geo.tuwien.ac.at ncarval@bgc-jena.mpg.de.
3
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany.
4
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
5
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany. Department of Physical Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
6
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany.
7
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany. Michael-Stifel-Center Jena for Data-driven and Simulation Science, 07743 Jena, Germany.

Abstract

Atmospheric monitoring of high northern latitudes (above 40°N) has shown an enhanced seasonal cycle of carbon dioxide (CO2) since the 1960s, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. The much stronger increase in high latitudes relative to low ones suggests that northern ecosystems are experiencing large changes in vegetation and carbon cycle dynamics. We found that the latitudinal gradient of the increasing CO2 amplitude is mainly driven by positive trends in photosynthetic carbon uptake caused by recent climate change and mediated by changing vegetation cover in northern ecosystems. Our results underscore the importance of climate-vegetation-carbon cycle feedbacks at high latitudes; moreover, they indicate that in recent decades, photosynthetic carbon uptake has reacted much more strongly to warming than have carbon release processes.

PMID:
26797146
DOI:
10.1126/science.aac4971
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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