Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 2017 Apr 5;544(7648):84-87. doi: 10.1038/nature22030.

Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production.

Author information

1
Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California, Merced, California 95343, USA.
2
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
3
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
4
Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA.
5
Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado 80305, USA.
6
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, IPSL, CNRS/CEA/UVSQ, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France.
7
Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki 00560, Finland.

Abstract

Growth in terrestrial gross primary production (GPP)-the amount of carbon dioxide that is 'fixed' into organic material through the photosynthesis of land plants-may provide a negative feedback for climate change. It remains uncertain, however, to what extent biogeochemical processes can suppress global GPP growth. As a consequence, modelling estimates of terrestrial carbon storage, and of feedbacks between the carbon cycle and climate, remain poorly constrained. Here we present a global, measurement-based estimate of GPP growth during the twentieth century that is based on long-term atmospheric carbonyl sulfide (COS) records, derived from ice-core, firn and ambient air samples. We interpret these records using a model that simulates changes in COS concentration according to changes in its sources and sinks-including a large sink that is related to GPP. We find that the observation-based COS record is most consistent with simulations of climate and the carbon cycle that assume large GPP growth during the twentieth century (31% ± 5% growth; mean ± 95% confidence interval). Although this COS analysis does not directly constrain models of future GPP growth, it does provide a global-scale benchmark for historical carbon-cycle simulations.

PMID:
28382993
DOI:
10.1038/nature22030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center