Drought rapidly diminishes the large net CO2 uptake in 2011 over semi-arid Australia

Ma, Xuanlong, Huete, Alfredo, Cleverly, James, Eamus, Derek, Chevallier, Frédéric, Joiner, Joanna, Poulter, Benjamin, Zhang, Yongguang, Guanter, Luis, Meyer, Wayne, Xie, Zunyi, and Ponce-Campos, Guillermo (2016) Drought rapidly diminishes the large net CO2 uptake in 2011 over semi-arid Australia. Scientific Reports, 6. 37747.

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Each year, terrestrial ecosystems absorb more than a quarter of the anthropogenic carbon emissions, termed as land carbon sink. An exceptionally large land carbon sink anomaly was recorded in 2011, of which more than half was attributed to Australia. However, the persistence and spatially attribution of this carbon sink remain largely unknown. Here we conducted an observation-based study to characterize the Australian land carbon sink through the novel coupling of satellite retrievals of atmospheric CO2 and photosynthesis and in-situ flux tower measures. We show the 2010–11 carbon sink was primarily ascribed to savannas and grasslands. When all biomes were normalized by rainfall, shrublands however, were most efficient in absorbing carbon. We found the 2010–11 net CO2 uptake was highly transient with rapid dissipation through drought. The size of the 2010–11 carbon sink over Australia (0.97 Pg) was reduced to 0.48 Pg in 2011–12, and was nearly eliminated in 2012–13 (0.08 Pg). We further report evidence of an earlier 2000–01 large net CO2 uptake, demonstrating a repetitive nature of this land carbon sink. Given a significant increasing trend in extreme wet year precipitation over Australia, we suggest that carbon sink episodes will exert greater future impacts on global carbon cycle.

Item ID: 73495
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Project “Impact of extreme hydro-meteorological conditions on ecosystem functioning and productivity patterns across Australia” ARC-DP140102698
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 02:51
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410203 Ecosystem function @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1904 Natural hazards > 190401 Climatological hazards (e.g. extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires) @ 50%
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