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Science. 2007 Jun 22;316(5832):1732-5.

Weak northern and strong tropical land carbon uptake from vertical profiles of atmospheric CO2.

Author information

1
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80305, USA. stephens@ucar.edu

Abstract

Measurements of midday vertical atmospheric CO2 distributions reveal annual-mean vertical CO2 gradients that are inconsistent with atmospheric models that estimate a large transfer of terrestrial carbon from tropical to northern latitudes. The three models that most closely reproduce the observed annual-mean vertical CO2 gradients estimate weaker northern uptake of -1.5 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year(-1)) and weaker tropical emission of +0.1 Pg C year(-1) compared with previous consensus estimates of -2.4 and +1.8 Pg C year(-1), respectively. This suggests that northern terrestrial uptake of industrial CO2 emissions plays a smaller role than previously thought and that, after subtracting land-use emissions, tropical ecosystems may currently be strong sinks for CO2.

PMID:
17588927
DOI:
10.1126/science.1137004
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