Paul Miller. Photo.

Paul Miller

Senior lecturer

Paul Miller. Photo.

Vegetation Pattern and Terrestrial Carbon Variation in Past Warm and Cold Climates

Author

  • Zhengyao Lu
  • Paul Miller
  • Qiong Zhang
  • David Wårlind
  • Lars Nieradzik
  • Jesper Sjolte
  • Qiang Li
  • Benjamin Smith

Summary, in English

Understanding the transition of biosphere‐atmosphere carbon exchange between glacial and interglacial climates can constrain uncertainties in its future projections. Using an individual‐based dynamic vegetation model, we simulate vegetation distribution and terrestrial carbon cycling in past cold and warm climates and elucidate the forcing effects of temperature, precipitation, atmospheric CO2 concentration (pCO2), and landmass. Results are consistent with proxy reconstructions and reveal that the vegetation extent is mainly determined by temperature anomalies, especially in a cold climate, while precipitation forcing effects on global‐scale vegetation patterns are marginal. The pCO2 change controls the global carbon balance with the fertilization effect of higher pCO2 linking to higher vegetation coverage, an enhanced terrestrial carbon sink, and increased terrestrial carbon storage. Our results indicate carbon transfer from ocean and permafrost/peat to the biosphere and atmosphere and highlight the importance of forest expansion as a driver of terrestrial ecosystem carbon stock from cold to warm climates.

Department/s

  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • MERGE - ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • Quaternary Sciences
  • BECC - Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • eSSENCE: The e-Science Collaboration

Publishing year

2019-07-16

Language

English

Pages

8133-8143

Publication/Series

Geophysical Research Letters

Volume

46

Issue

14

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Topic

  • Physical Geography

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1944-8007