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Top–down assessment of the Asian carbon budget since the mid 1990s

R.L. Thompson, P.K. Patra, F. Chevallier, S. Maksyutov, R.M. Law, T. Ziehn, I.T. van der Laan-Luijkx, W. Peters, A. Ganshin, R. Zhuravlev, T. Maki, T. Nakamura, T. Shirai, M. Ishizawa, T. Saeki, T. Machida, B. Poulter, J.G. Canadell & P. Ciais

Nature Communications, published: 25 Feb 2016
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10724

Paper Abstract

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is the principal driver of anthropogenic climate change. Asia is an important region for the global carbon budget, with 4 of the world's 10 largest national emitters of CO2. Using an ensemble of seven atmospheric inverse systems, we estimated land biosphere fluxes (natural, land-use change and fires) based on atmospheric observations of CO2 concentration. The Asian land biosphere was a net sink of —0.46 (—0.70–0.24) PgC per year (median and range) for 1996–2012 and was mostly located in East Asia, while in South and Southeast Asia the land biosphere was close to carbon neutral. In East Asia, the annual CO2 sink increased between 1996–2001 and 2008– 2012 by 0.56 (0.30–0.81) PgC, accounting for ~35% of the increase in the global land biosphere sink. Uncertainty in the fossil fuel emissions contributes significantly (32%) to the uncertainty in land biosphere sink change.