Recent reversal in loss of global terrestrial biomass

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/564113
Title:
Recent reversal in loss of global terrestrial biomass
Authors:
Liu, Yi Y.; Van Dijk, Albert I J M; De Jeu, Richard A M; Canadell., Josep G.; McCabe, Matthew ( 0000-0002-1279-5272 ) ; Evans, Jason P.; Wang, Guojie
Abstract:
Vegetation change plays a critical role in the Earth's carbon (C) budget and its associated radiative forcing in response to anthropogenic and natural climate change. Existing global estimates of aboveground biomass carbon (ABC) based on field survey data provide brief snapshots that are mainly limited to forest ecosystems. Here we use an entirely new remote sensing approach to derive global ABC estimates for both forest and non-forest biomes during the past two decades from satellite passive microwave observations. We estimate a global average ABC of 362 PgC over the period 1998-2002, of which 65% is in forests and 17% in savannahs. Over the period 1993-2012, an estimated '0.07 PgC yr '1 ABC was lost globally, mostly resulting from the loss of tropical forests ('0.26 PgC yr '1) and net gains in mixed forests over boreal and temperate regions (+0.13 PgC yr '1) and tropical savannahs and shrublands (+0.05 PgC yr '1). Interannual ABC patterns are greatly influenced by the strong response of water-limited ecosystems to rainfall variability, particularly savannahs. From 2003 onwards, forest in Russia and China expanded and tropical deforestation declined. Increased ABC associated with wetter conditions in the savannahs of northern Australia and southern Africa reversed global ABC loss, leading to an overall gain, consistent with trends in the global carbon sink reported in recent studies. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
KAUST Department:
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division; Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC); Environmental Science and Engineering Program; Earth System Observation and Modelling
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Journal:
Nature Climate Change
Issue Date:
30-Mar-2015
DOI:
10.1038/nclimate2581
Type:
Article
ISSN:
1758678X
Sponsors:
Y.Y.L. is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship (project number DE140100200). J.G.C. acknowledges the support of the Australian Climate Change Science Program. M.F.M. is funded by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. G.W. is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (numbers 41375099 and 91337108). We thank Y. Pan for helping to interpret forest inventory data and S. Saatchi for providing the aboveground biomass map for tropical regions.
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Environmental Science and Engineering Program; Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC); Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Yi Y.en
dc.contributor.authorVan Dijk, Albert I J Men
dc.contributor.authorDe Jeu, Richard A Men
dc.contributor.authorCanadell., Josep G.en
dc.contributor.authorMcCabe, Matthewen
dc.contributor.authorEvans, Jason P.en
dc.contributor.authorWang, Guojieen
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-03T12:32:43Zen
dc.date.available2015-08-03T12:32:43Zen
dc.date.issued2015-03-30en
dc.identifier.issn1758678Xen
dc.identifier.doi10.1038/nclimate2581en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/564113en
dc.description.abstractVegetation change plays a critical role in the Earth's carbon (C) budget and its associated radiative forcing in response to anthropogenic and natural climate change. Existing global estimates of aboveground biomass carbon (ABC) based on field survey data provide brief snapshots that are mainly limited to forest ecosystems. Here we use an entirely new remote sensing approach to derive global ABC estimates for both forest and non-forest biomes during the past two decades from satellite passive microwave observations. We estimate a global average ABC of 362 PgC over the period 1998-2002, of which 65% is in forests and 17% in savannahs. Over the period 1993-2012, an estimated '0.07 PgC yr '1 ABC was lost globally, mostly resulting from the loss of tropical forests ('0.26 PgC yr '1) and net gains in mixed forests over boreal and temperate regions (+0.13 PgC yr '1) and tropical savannahs and shrublands (+0.05 PgC yr '1). Interannual ABC patterns are greatly influenced by the strong response of water-limited ecosystems to rainfall variability, particularly savannahs. From 2003 onwards, forest in Russia and China expanded and tropical deforestation declined. Increased ABC associated with wetter conditions in the savannahs of northern Australia and southern Africa reversed global ABC loss, leading to an overall gain, consistent with trends in the global carbon sink reported in recent studies. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.en
dc.description.sponsorshipY.Y.L. is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship (project number DE140100200). J.G.C. acknowledges the support of the Australian Climate Change Science Program. M.F.M. is funded by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. G.W. is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (numbers 41375099 and 91337108). We thank Y. Pan for helping to interpret forest inventory data and S. Saatchi for providing the aboveground biomass map for tropical regions.en
dc.publisherSpringer Natureen
dc.titleRecent reversal in loss of global terrestrial biomassen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Divisionen
dc.contributor.departmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)en
dc.contributor.departmentEnvironmental Science and Engineering Programen
dc.contributor.departmentEarth System Observation and Modellingen
dc.identifier.journalNature Climate Changeen
dc.contributor.institutionARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science AndClimate Change Research Centre, University of New South WalesSydney, NSW, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionWater Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South WalesSydney, NSW, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionFenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National UniversityCanberra, ACT, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionCSIRO Land and Water FlagshipCanberra, ACT, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University AmsterdamAmsterdam, Netherlandsen
dc.contributor.institutionGlobal Carbon Project, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere FlagshipCanberra, ACT, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionSchool of Geography and Remote Sensing, Nanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjing, Chinaen
kaust.authorMcCabe, Matthewen
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