| What are the Most Important Factors for Climate-carbon Cycle Coupling?
By Steve Wofsy
from long-term measurements of carbon balance in boreal, mid-latitude and
tropical ecosystems are used to assess the mechanisms that drive changes in
ecosystem carbon balance in response to a changing climate. We find that most
model parameterizations overestimate the temperature sensitivity of ecosystem
respiration and underestimate the role of soil water balance in controlling
respiration and flammability. We conclude that model assessments of
climate—carbon feedbacks must carefully simulate regional precipitation,
evaporation, evapotranspiration, and water balance, including factors leading
to fires (e.g. sources of ignition), in addition to assessing changes in
temperature. Covariances among these drivers of ecosystem respiration and
vegetation change may be critically important for these simulations.
Link to Abstract
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