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Climate and atmospheric drivers of historical terrestrial carbon uptake in the province of British Columbia, Canada

Author(s): Y. Peng | V. K. Arora | W. A. Kurz | R. A. Hember | B. Hawkins | J. C. Fyfe | A. T. Werner

Journal: Biogeosciences Discussions
ISSN 1810-6277

Volume: 10;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 13603;
Date: 2013;
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The impacts of climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration on the terrestrial uptake of carbon dioxide since 1900 in the Canadian province of British Columbia are estimated using the process-based Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM). Model simulations show that these two factors yield a carbon uptake of around 44 g C m−2 yr−1, during the 1980s and 1990s, and continuing into 2000s, compared to pre-industrial conditions. The increased carbon uptake translates into an increased sink of 41 Tg C yr−1, when multiplied with the 944 700 km2 area of the province. About three-quarters of the simulated sink enhancement in our study is attributed to changing climate, and the rest is attributed to increase in CO2 concentration. The model response to changing climate and increasing CO2 is corroborated by comparing simulated stem wood growth rates with ground-based measurements from inventory plots in coastal British Columbia. The simulated sink is not an estimate of the net carbon balance because the effect of harvesting and insect disturbances is not considered.
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