Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 399817
Title A Carbon Cycle Science Update Since IPCC AR-4
Author(s) Dolman, A.J.; Werf, G.R. van der; Molen, M.K. van der; Ganssen, G.; Erisman, J.W.; Strengers, B.
Source Ambio 39 (2010)5-6. - ISSN 0044-7447 - p. 402 - 412.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-010-0083-7
Department(s) Meteorology and Air Quality
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) climate-change - co2 emissions - terrestrial plants - atmospheric co2 - forests - sinks - feedbacks - trends - ocean - exchange
Abstract We review important advances in our understanding of the global carbon cycle since the publication of the IPCC AR4. We conclude that: the anthropogenic emissions of CO2 due to fossil fuel burning have increased up through 2008 at a rate near to the high end of the IPCC emission scenarios; there are contradictory analyses whether an increase in atmospheric fraction, that might indicate a declining sink strength of ocean and/or land, exists; methane emissions are increasing, possibly through enhanced natural emission from northern wetland, methane emissions from dry plants are negligible; old-growth forest take up more carbon than expected from ecological equilibrium reasoning; tropical forest also take up more carbon than previously thought, however, for the global budget to balance, this would imply a smaller uptake in the northern forest; the exchange fluxes between the atmosphere and ocean are increasingly better understood and bottom up and observation-based top down estimates are getting closer to each other; the North Atlantic and Southern ocean take up less CO2, but it is unclear whether this is part of the ‘natural’ decadal scale variability; large-scale fires and droughts, for instance in Amazonia, but also at Northern latitudes, have lead to significant decreases in carbon uptake on annual timescales; the extra uptake of CO2 stimulated by increased N-deposition is, from a greenhouse gas forcing perspective, counterbalanced by the related additional N2O emissions; the amount of carbon stored in permafrost areas appears much (two times) larger than previously thought; preservation of existing marine ecosystems could require a CO2 stabilization as low as 450 ppm; Dynamic Vegetation Models show a wide divergence for future carbon trajectories, uncertainty in the process description, lack of understanding of the CO2 fertilization effect and nitrogen–carbon interaction are major uncertainties.
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