Publication Details

A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests

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Pan, Yude; Birdsey, Richard A.; Fang, Jingyun; Houghton, Richard; Kauppi, Pekka E.; Kurz, Werner A.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Lewis, Simon L.; Canadell, Josep G.; Ciais, Philippe; Jackson, Robert B.; Pacala, Stephen W.; McGuire, A. David; Piao, Shilong; Rautiainen, Aapo; Sitch, Stephen; Hayes, Daniel

Year Published

2011

Publication

Science. 333: 988-993.

Abstract

The terrestrial carbon sink has been large in recent decades, but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem carbon studies, we estimate a total forest sink of 2.4 ± 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year-1) globally for 1990 to 2007. We also estimate a source of 1.3 ± 0.7 Pg C year-1 from tropical land-use change, consisting of a gross tropical deforestation emission of 2.9 ± 0.5 Pg C year-1 partially compensated by a carbon sink in tropical forest regrowth of 1.6 ± 0.5 Pg C year-1. Together, the fluxes comprise a net global forest sink of 1.1 ± 0.8 Pg C year-1, with tropical estimates having the largest uncertainties. Our total forest sink estimate is equivalent in magnitude to the terrestrial sink deduced from fossil fuel emissions and land-use change sources minus ocean and atmospheric sinks.

Citation

Pan, Yude; Birdsey, Richard A.; Fang, Jingyun; Houghton, Richard; Kauppi, Pekka E.; Kurz, Werner A.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Lewis, Simon L.; Canadell, Josep G.; Ciais, Philippe; Jackson, Robert B.; Pacala, Stephen W.; McGuire, A. David; Piao, Shilong; Rautiainen, Aapo; Sitch, Stephen; Hayes, Daniel. 2011. A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests. Science. 333: 988-993. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1201609.

Last updated on: January 28, 2013