Multiple greenhouse-gas feedbacks from the land biosphere under future climate change scenarios

Stocker, Benjamin; Roth, Raphael; Joos, Fortunat; Spahni, Renato; Steinacher, Marco; Zaehle, Soenke; Bouwman, Lex; Xu-Ri, .; Prentice, Iain (2013). Multiple greenhouse-gas feedbacks from the land biosphere under future climate change scenarios. Nature climate change, 3(7), pp. 666-672. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/nclimate1864

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Atmospheric concentrations of the three important greenhouse gases (GHGs) CO2, CH4 and N2O are mediated by processes in the terrestrial biosphere that are sensitive to climate and CO2. This leads to feedbacks between climate and land and has contributed to the sharp rise in atmospheric GHG concentrations since pre-industrial times. Here, we apply a process-based model to reproduce the historical atmospheric N2O and CH4 budgets within their uncertainties and apply future scenarios for climate, land-use change and reactive nitrogen (Nr) inputs to investigate future GHG emissions and their feedbacks with climate in a consistent and comprehensive framework1. Results suggest that in a business-as-usual scenario, terrestrial N2O and CH4 emissions increase by 80 and 45%, respectively, and the land becomes a net source of C by AD 2100. N2O and CH4 feedbacks imply an additional warming of 0.4–0.5 °C by AD 2300; on top of 0.8–1.0 °C caused by terrestrial carbon cycle and Albedo feedbacks. The land biosphere represents an increasingly positive feedback to anthropogenic climate change and amplifies equilibrium climate sensitivity by 22–27%. Strong mitigation limits the increase of terrestrial GHG emissions and prevents the land biosphere from acting as an increasingly strong amplifier to anthropogenic climate change.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

Graduate School:

Graduate School of Climate Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Stocker, Benjamin; Roth, Raphael; Joos, Fortunat; Spahni, Renato and Steinacher, Marco

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

1758-678X

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2014 11:33

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 01:50

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/nclimate1864

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.47744

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/47744

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