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Simulated carbon emissions from land-use change are substantially enhanced by accounting for agricultural management

Pugh, T. A. M.; Arneth, A.; Olin, Stefan LU ; Ahlström, Anders LU ; Bayer, A. D.; Goldewijk, K. Klein; Lindeskog, Mats LU and Schurgers, Guy LU (2015) In Environmental Research Letters 10(12).
Abstract
It is over three decades since a large terrestrial carbon sink (S-T) was first reported. The magnitude of the net sink is now relatively well known, and its importance for dampening atmospheric CO2 accumulation, and hence climate change, widely recognised. But the contributions of underlying processes are not well defined, particularly the role of emissions from land-use change (E-LUC) versus the biospheric carbon uptake (S-L; S-T. = S-L - E-LUC). One key aspect of the interplay of E-LUC and SL is the role of agricultural processes in land-use change emissions, which has not yet been clearly quantified at the global scale. Here we assess the effect of representing agricultural land management in a dynamic global vegetation model.... (More)
It is over three decades since a large terrestrial carbon sink (S-T) was first reported. The magnitude of the net sink is now relatively well known, and its importance for dampening atmospheric CO2 accumulation, and hence climate change, widely recognised. But the contributions of underlying processes are not well defined, particularly the role of emissions from land-use change (E-LUC) versus the biospheric carbon uptake (S-L; S-T. = S-L - E-LUC). One key aspect of the interplay of E-LUC and SL is the role of agricultural processes in land-use change emissions, which has not yet been clearly quantified at the global scale. Here we assess the effect of representing agricultural land management in a dynamic global vegetation model. Accounting for harvest, grazing and tillage resulted in cumulative E-LUC since 1850 ca. 70% larger than in simulations ignoring these processes, but also changed the timescale over which these emissions occurred and led to underestimations of the carbon sequestered by possible future reforestation actions. The vast majority of Earth system models in the recent IPCC Fifth Assessment Report omit these processes, suggesting either an overestimation in their present-day ST, or an underestimation of SL, of up to 1.0 Pg Ca-1. Management processes influencing crop productivity per se are important for food supply, but were found to have little influence on E-LUC. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
carbon cycle, agriculture, Earth system model, DGVM, cropland, terrestrial carbon sink
in
Environmental Research Letters
volume
10
issue
12
publisher
IOP Publishing
external identifiers
  • wos:000367286300015
  • scopus:84952896302
ISSN
1748-9326
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/10/12/124008
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7d2de867-1857-4e68-b397-c820f4e4dfa0 (old id 8767550)
date added to LUP
2016-02-22 11:06:52
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:43:57
@article{7d2de867-1857-4e68-b397-c820f4e4dfa0,
  abstract     = {It is over three decades since a large terrestrial carbon sink (S-T) was first reported. The magnitude of the net sink is now relatively well known, and its importance for dampening atmospheric CO2 accumulation, and hence climate change, widely recognised. But the contributions of underlying processes are not well defined, particularly the role of emissions from land-use change (E-LUC) versus the biospheric carbon uptake (S-L; S-T. = S-L - E-LUC). One key aspect of the interplay of E-LUC and SL is the role of agricultural processes in land-use change emissions, which has not yet been clearly quantified at the global scale. Here we assess the effect of representing agricultural land management in a dynamic global vegetation model. Accounting for harvest, grazing and tillage resulted in cumulative E-LUC since 1850 ca. 70% larger than in simulations ignoring these processes, but also changed the timescale over which these emissions occurred and led to underestimations of the carbon sequestered by possible future reforestation actions. The vast majority of Earth system models in the recent IPCC Fifth Assessment Report omit these processes, suggesting either an overestimation in their present-day ST, or an underestimation of SL, of up to 1.0 Pg Ca-1. Management processes influencing crop productivity per se are important for food supply, but were found to have little influence on E-LUC.},
  articleno    = {124008},
  author       = {Pugh, T. A. M. and Arneth, A. and Olin, Stefan and Ahlström, Anders and Bayer, A. D. and Goldewijk, K. Klein and Lindeskog, Mats and Schurgers, Guy},
  issn         = {1748-9326},
  keyword      = {carbon cycle,agriculture,Earth system model,DGVM,cropland,terrestrial carbon sink},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  publisher    = {IOP Publishing},
  series       = {Environmental Research Letters},
  title        = {Simulated carbon emissions from land-use change are substantially enhanced by accounting for agricultural management},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/10/12/124008},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2015},
}