Recent global decline of CO2 fertilization effects on vegetation photosynthesis

Songhan Wang, Yongguang Zhang, Weimin Ju, Jing M. Chen, Philippe Ciais, Alessandro Cescatti, Jordi Sardans, Ivan A. Janssens, Mousong Wu, Joseph A. Berry, Elliott Campbell, Marcos Fernández-Martínez, Ramdane Alkama, Stephen Sitch, Pierre Friedlingstein, William K. Smith, Wenping Yuan, Wei He, Danica Lombardozzi, Markus KautzDan Zhu, Sebastian Lienert, Etsushi Kato, Benjamin Poulter, Tanja G.M. Sanders, Inken Krüger, Rong Wang, Ning Zeng, Hanqin Tian, Nicolas Vuichard, Atul K. Jain, Andy Wiltshire, Vanessa Haverd, Daniel S. Goll, Josep Peñuelas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The enhanced vegetation productivity driven by increased concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) [i.e., the CO2 fertilization effect (CFE)] sustains an important negative feedback on climate warming, but the temporal dynamics of CFE remain unclear. Using multiple long-term satellite- and ground-based datasets, we showed that global CFE has declined across most terrestrial regions of the globe from 1982 to 2015, correlating well with changing nutrient concentrations and availability of soil water. Current carbon cycle models also demonstrate a declining CFE trend, albeit one substantially weaker than that from the global observations. This declining trend in the forcing of terrestrial carbon sinks by increasing amounts of atmospheric CO2 implies a weakening negative feedback on the climatic system and increased societal dependence on future strategies to mitigate climate warming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1300
Number of pages6
Issue number6522
StatePublished - Dec 11 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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