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Nature ; 597(7876): 366-369, 2021 09.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34526704


Southeast Australia experienced intensive and geographically extensive wildfires during the 2019-2020 summer season1,2. The fires released substantial amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere3. However, existing emission estimates based on fire inventories are uncertain4, and vary by up to a factor of four for this event. Here we constrain emission estimates with the help of satellite observations of carbon monoxide5, an analytical Bayesian inversion6 and observed ratios between emitted carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide7. We estimate emissions of carbon dioxide to be 715 teragrams (range 517-867) from November 2019 to January 2020. This is more than twice the estimate derived by five different fire inventories8-12, and broadly consistent with estimates based on a bottom-up bootstrap analysis of this fire episode13. Although fires occur regularly in the savannas in northern Australia, the recent episodes were extremely large in scale and intensity, burning unusually large areas of eucalyptus forest in the southeast13. The fires were driven partly by climate change14,15, making better-constrained emission estimates particularly important. This is because the build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide may become increasingly dependent on fire-driven climate-carbon feedbacks, as highlighted by this event16.

Dióxido de Carbono/análisis , Imágenes Satelitales , Incendios Forestales/estadística & datos numéricos , Atmósfera/química , Australia , Teorema de Bayes , Monóxido de Carbono/análisis , Cambio Climático , Eucalyptus , Bosques , Pradera , Incertidumbre
J Geophys Res Atmos ; 124(15): 8808-8836, 2019 Aug 16.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31598450


The triple oxygen isotope signature Δ17O in atmospheric CO2, also known as its "17O excess," has been proposed as a tracer for gross primary production (the gross uptake of CO2 by vegetation through photosynthesis). We present the first global 3-D model simulations for Δ17O in atmospheric CO2 together with a detailed model description and sensitivity analyses. In our 3-D model framework we include the stratospheric source of Δ17O in CO2 and the surface sinks from vegetation, soils, ocean, biomass burning, and fossil fuel combustion. The effect of oxidation of atmospheric CO on Δ17O in CO2 is also included in our model. We estimate that the global mean Δ17O (defined as Δ 17 O = ln ( δ 17 O + 1 ) - λ RL · ln ( δ 18 O + 1 ) with λ RL = 0.5229) of CO2 in the lowest 500 m of the atmosphere is 39.6 per meg, which is ∼20 per meg lower than estimates from existing box models. We compare our model results with a measured stratospheric Δ17O in CO2 profile from Sodankylä (Finland), which shows good agreement. In addition, we compare our model results with tropospheric measurements of Δ17O in CO2 from Göttingen (Germany) and Taipei (Taiwan), which shows some agreement but we also find substantial discrepancies that are subsequently discussed. Finally, we show model results for Zotino (Russia), Mauna Loa (United States), Manaus (Brazil), and South Pole, which we propose as possible locations for future measurements of Δ17O in tropospheric CO2 that can help to further increase our understanding of the global budget of Δ17O in atmospheric CO2.

Sci Adv ; 5(6): eaaw0076, 2019 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31183402


Long-term atmospheric CO2 mole fraction and δ13CO2 observations over North America document persistent responses to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. We estimate these responses corresponded to 0.61 (0.45 to 0.79) PgC year-1 more North American carbon uptake during El Niño than during La Niña between 2007 and 2015, partially offsetting increases of net tropical biosphere-to-atmosphere carbon flux around El Niño. Anomalies in derived North American net ecosystem exchange (NEE) display strong but opposite correlations with surface air temperature between seasons, while their correlation with water availability was more constant throughout the year, such that water availability is the dominant control on annual NEE variability over North America. These results suggest that increased water availability and favorable temperature conditions (warmer spring and cooler summer) caused enhanced carbon uptake over North America near and during El Niño.

Nat Geosci ; 11(9): 744-748, 2018 Aug 27.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30319710


Severe droughts in the Northern Hemisphere cause widespread decline of agricultural yield, reduction of forest carbon uptake, and increased CO2 growth rates in the atmosphere. Plants respond to droughts by partially closing their stomata to limit their evaporative water loss, at the expense of carbon uptake by photosynthesis. This trade-off maximizes their water-use efficiency, as measured for many individual plants under laboratory conditions and field experiments. Here we analyze the 13C/12C stable isotope ratio in atmospheric CO2 (reported as δ13C) to provide new observational evidence of the impact of droughts on the water-use efficiency across areas of millions of km2 and spanning one decade of recent climate variability. We find strong and spatially coherent increases in water-use efficiency along with widespread reductions of net carbon uptake over the Northern Hemisphere during severe droughts that affected Europe, Russia, and the United States in 2001-2011. The impact of those droughts on water-use efficiency and carbon uptake by vegetation is substantially larger than simulated by the land-surface schemes of six state-of-the-art climate models. This suggests that drought induced carbon-climate feedbacks may be too small in these models and improvements to their vegetation dynamics using stable isotope observations can help to improve their drought response.

Glob Chang Biol ; 22(10): 3427-43, 2016 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27124119


Understanding tropical rainforest carbon exchange and its response to heat and drought is critical for quantifying the effects of climate change on tropical ecosystems, including global climate-carbon feedbacks. Of particular importance for the global carbon budget is net biome exchange of CO2 with the atmosphere (NBE), which represents nonfire carbon fluxes into and out of biomass and soils. Subannual and sub-Basin Amazon NBE estimates have relied heavily on process-based biosphere models, despite lack of model agreement with plot-scale observations. We present a new analysis of airborne measurements that reveals monthly, regional-scale (~1-8 × 10(6)  km(2) ) NBE variations. We develop a regional atmospheric CO2 inversion that provides the first analysis of geographic and temporal variability in Amazon biosphere-atmosphere carbon exchange and that is minimally influenced by biosphere model-based first guesses of seasonal and annual mean fluxes. We find little evidence for a clear seasonal cycle in Amazon NBE but do find NBE sensitivity to aberrations from long-term mean climate. In particular, we observe increased NBE (more carbon emitted to the atmosphere) associated with heat and drought in 2010, and correlations between wet season NBE and precipitation (negative correlation) and temperature (positive correlation). In the eastern Amazon, pulses of increased NBE persisted through 2011, suggesting legacy effects of 2010 heat and drought. We also identify regional differences in postdrought NBE that appear related to long-term water availability. We examine satellite proxies and find evidence for higher gross primary productivity (GPP) during a pulse of increased carbon uptake in 2011, and lower GPP during a period of increased NBE in the 2010 dry season drought, but links between GPP and NBE changes are not conclusive. These results provide novel evidence of NBE sensitivity to short-term temperature and moisture extremes in the Amazon, where monthly and sub-Basin estimates have not been previously available.

Cambio Climático , Ecosistema , Ciclo del Carbono , Dióxido de Carbono , Estaciones del Año
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(5): 1285-90, 2016 Feb 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26787856


The terrestrial carbon cycle is currently the least constrained component of the global carbon budget. Large uncertainties stem from a poor understanding of plant carbon allocation, stocks, residence times, and carbon use efficiency. Imposing observational constraints on the terrestrial carbon cycle and its processes is, therefore, necessary to better understand its current state and predict its future state. We combine a diagnostic ecosystem carbon model with satellite observations of leaf area and biomass (where and when available) and soil carbon data to retrieve the first global estimates, to our knowledge, of carbon cycle state and process variables at a 1° × 1° resolution; retrieved variables are independent from the plant functional type and steady-state paradigms. Our results reveal global emergent relationships in the spatial distribution of key carbon cycle states and processes. Live biomass and dead organic carbon residence times exhibit contrasting spatial features (r = 0.3). Allocation to structural carbon is highest in the wet tropics (85-88%) in contrast to higher latitudes (73-82%), where allocation shifts toward photosynthetic carbon. Carbon use efficiency is lowest (0.42-0.44) in the wet tropics. We find an emergent global correlation between retrievals of leaf mass per leaf area and leaf lifespan (r = 0.64-0.80) that matches independent trait studies. We show that conventional land cover types cannot adequately describe the spatial variability of key carbon states and processes (multiple correlation median = 0.41). This mismatch has strong implications for the prediction of terrestrial carbon dynamics, which are currently based on globally applied parameters linked to land cover or plant functional types.