Campus Units

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

6-1-2017

Journal or Book Title

Environmental Research Letters

Volume

12

Issue

064007

DOI

10.1088/1748-9326/aa6e8e

Abstract

Climate variability associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its consequent impacts on land carbon sink interannual variability have been used as a basis for investigating carbon cycle responses to climate variability more broadly, and to inform the sensitivity of the tropical carbon budget to climate change. Past studies have presented opposing views about whether temperature or precipitation is the primary factor driving the response of the land carbon sink to ENSO. Here, we show that the dominant driver varies with ENSO phase. Whereas tropical temperature explains sink dynamics following El Niño conditions (r TG,P = 0.59, p < 0.01), the post La Niña sink is driven largely by tropical precipitation (r PG,T = −0.46, p = 0.04). This finding points to an ENSO-phase-dependent interplay between water availability and temperature in controlling the carbon uptake response to climate variations in tropical ecosystems. We further find that none of a suite of ten contemporary terrestrial biosphere models captures these ENSO-phase-dependent responses, highlighting a key uncertainty in modeling climate impacts on the future of the global land carbon sink.

Comments

This article is published as Fang, Y., A. A. Michalak, C. Schwalm, D. Huntzinger, J. Berry, P. Ciais, S. Piao, B. Poulter, J. Fisher, R. Cook, D. Hayes, M. Huang, A. Ito, A. Jain, H. Lei, C. Lu, J. Mao, N. Parazoo, S. Peng, D. Ricciuto, X. Shi, B. Tao, H. Tian, W. Wang, Y. Wei, and J. Yang. 2017. Global land carbon sink response to temperature and precipitation varies with ENSO phase. Environmental Research Letters, 12(6), [064007]. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa6e8e.

Rights

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright Owner

IOP Publishing

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS