Diagnosing destabilization risk in global land carbon sinks

Marcos Fernández-Martínez, Josep Peñuelas, Frederic Chevallier, Philippe Ciais, Michael Obersteiner, Christian Rödenbeck, Jordi Sardans, Sara Vicca, Hui Yang, Stephen Sitch, Pierre Friedlingstein, Vivek K. Arora, Daniel S. Goll, Atul K. Jain, Danica L. Lombardozzi, Patrick C. McGuire, Ivan A. Janssens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Global net land carbon uptake or net biome production (NBP) has increased during recent decades1. Whether its temporal variability and autocorrelation have changed during this period, however, remains elusive, even though an increase in both could indicate an increased potential for a destabilized carbon sink2,3. Here, we investigate the trends and controls of net terrestrial carbon uptake and its temporal variability and autocorrelation from 1981 to 2018 using two atmospheric-inversion models, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2 concentration derived from nine monitoring stations distributed across the Pacific Ocean and dynamic global vegetation models. We find that annual NBP and its interdecadal variability increased globally whereas temporal autocorrelation decreased. We observe a separation of regions characterized by increasingly variable NBP, associated with warm regions and increasingly variable temperatures, lower and weaker positive trends in NBP and regions where NBP became stronger and less variable. Plant species richness presented a concave-down parabolic spatial relationship with NBP and its variability at the global scale whereas nitrogen deposition generally increased NBP. Increasing temperature and its increasing variability appear as the most important drivers of declining and increasingly variable NBP. Our results show increasing variability of NBP regionally that can be mostly attributed to climate change and that may point to destabilization of the coupled carbon–climate system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-853
Number of pages6
Issue number7954
StatePublished - Mar 30 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnosing destabilization risk in global land carbon sinks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this