Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sensitivity of carbon cycle to tropical temperature variations has doubled

Date:
January 26, 2014
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
The tropical carbon cycle has become twice as sensitive to temperature variations over the past 50 years, new research has revealed. The research shows that a one degree rise in tropical temperature leads to around two billion extra tons of carbon being released per year into the atmosphere from tropical ecosystems, compared with the same tropical warming in the 1960s and 1970s.

The tropical carbon cycle has become twice as sensitive to temperature variations over the past 50 years, new research has revealed.
Credit: © efired / Fotolia

The tropical carbon cycle has become twice as sensitive to temperature variations over the past 50 years, new research has revealed.

Related Articles


The research shows that a one degree rise in tropical temperature leads to around two billion extra tonnes of carbon being released per year into the atmosphere from tropical ecosystems, compared with the same tropical warming in the 1960s and 1970s.

Professor Pierre Friedlingstein and Professor Peter Cox, from the University of Exeter, collaborated with an international team of researchers from China, Germany, France and the USA, to produce the new study, which is published in the leading academic journal Nature.

Existing Earth System Model simulations indicate that the ability of tropical land ecosystems to store carbon will decline over the 21st century. However, these models are unable to capture the increase in the sensitivity of carbon dioxide to tropical temperatures that is reported in this new study.

Research published last year by Professors Cox and Friedlingstein showed that these variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide can reveal the sensitivity of tropical ecosystems to future climate change.

Taken together, these studies suggest that the sensitivity of tropical ecosystems to climate change has increased substantially in recent decades.

Professor Cox, from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences said "The year-to-year variation in carbon dioxide concentration is a very useful way to monitor how tropical ecosystems are responding to climate.

"The increase in carbon dioxide variability in the last few decades suggests that tropical ecosystems have become more vulnerable to warming."

Professor Friedlingstein, who is an expert in global carbon cycle studies added: "Current land carbon cycle models do not show this increase over the last 50 years, perhaps because these models underestimate emerging drought effects on tropical ecosystems."

The lead author of the study, Xuhui Wang of Peking University, added: "This enhancement is very unlikely to have resulted from chance, and may provide a new perspective on a possible shift in the terrestrial carbon cycle over the past five decades."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xuhui Wang, Shilong Piao, Philippe Ciais, Pierre Friedlingstein, Ranga B. Myneni, Peter Cox, Martin Heimann, John Miller, Shushi Peng, Tao Wang, Hui Yang, Anping Chen. A two-fold increase of carbon cycle sensitivity to tropical temperature variations. Nature, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nature12915

Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Sensitivity of carbon cycle to tropical temperature variations has doubled." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140126134647.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2014, January 26). Sensitivity of carbon cycle to tropical temperature variations has doubled. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140126134647.htm
University of Exeter. "Sensitivity of carbon cycle to tropical temperature variations has doubled." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140126134647.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) — A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) — Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: New Eruptions at Colima Volcano in Mexico

Raw: New Eruptions at Colima Volcano in Mexico

AP (Mar. 28, 2015) — The Colima Volcano in western Mexico sent large columns of ash up into the air on Saturday. (March 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A new study of nearly two decades of satellite data shows Antarctic ice shelves are losing more mass faster every year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins