A Large and Persistent Carbon Sink in the World’s Forests
Yude Pan, Richard A. Birdsey, Jingyun Fang, Richard Houghton, Pekka E. Kauppi, Werner A. Kurz, Oliver L. Phillips, Anatoly Shvidenko, Simon L. Lewis, Josep G. Canadell, Philippe Ciais, Robert B. Jackson, Stephen Pacala, A. David McGuire, Shilong Piao, Aapo Rautiainen, Stephen Sitch, Daniel Hayes.
Science, early publication in Science Express
The terrestrial carbon sink is large but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem carbon studies, a new study estimates a total forest sink of 2.4±0.4 Pg C yr-1 globally for 1990-2007, - equivalent to one third of current annual fossil fuel emissions.
The terrestrial carbon (C) sink has been large in recent decades, but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem C studies, we estimated a total forest sink of 2.4±0.4 Pg C yr-1 globally for 1990-2007.
We estimated a source of 1.3±0.7 Pg C yr-1 from tropical land-use change, consisting of a gross tropical deforestation emission of 2.9±0.5 Pg C yr-1 partially compensated by a C sink in tropical forest regrowth of 1.6±0.5 Pg C yr-1. Together, the fluxes comprise a net global forest sink of 1.1±0.8 Pg C yr-1, with tropical estimates having the largest uncertainties. This forest sink is equivalent in magnitude to the terrestrial sink deduced from fossil fuel emissions and constraints of ocean and atmospheric sinks.
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- Summary Results (ppt 2.3mb; pdf 392kb)
- US Forest Service Press release
- CSIRO Press release (pdf 22kb)
- University of Leeds Press release (pdf, 20kb)
- ABC AM radio speaking with Werner Kurz and Pep Canadell