Research Highlights: Land Carbon Sink Strength Expected to be Nearly Half by 2040

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  • Global photosynthesis and respiration are dependent on temperature.
  • Rainforests normally act as a carbon sink.
  • With the rising temperature, the ecosystem’s carbon sink strength may be at risk.
  • Land carbon sink currently mitigates about 30 percent of carbon emission caused by humans.
  • However, it is unclear whether this ecosystem’s carbon sink mitigation will continue.
  • Researchers monitored and observed the effect of temperature to global land carbon uptake.
  • Data show that the mean temperature of the warmest quarter overtook the thermal maximum for photosynthesis during the past 10 years.
  • Respiration rates continue to rise at higher temperature.
  • However, the rates of photosynthesis continue to decline.
  • Without interventions, land carbon sink strength is expected to decline by almost 50 percent as early as 2040.

Related Research: Research Article: Assessment of the Soil Organic Carbon Sink in a Project for the Conversion of Farmland to Forestland: A Case Study in Zichang County, Shaanxi, China


Science Advances 13 Jan 2021: Vol. 7, no. 3, eaay1052 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay1052

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