Biogeosciences Editors' Highlights

How Do Croplands Reduce CO2 During the Growing Season?

Regional variations in the seasonal drawdown of atmospheric CO2 can be used as a benchmark for evaluating models and satellite-derived estimates of land carbon uptake.

Source: AGU Advances


The land-atmosphere carbon balance has long been one of the most uncertain components in the global carbon cycle. However, increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) observation networks and global satellite observations provide increasing constraints, especially for the seasonal uptake of CO2 in the temperate growing season. Sun et al. [2021] evaluate seasonal land carbon uptake from a range of prognostic and diagnostic land models by comparing the atmospheric CO2 pattern derived from coupling modeled fluxes to atmospheric transport models to actual patterns observed with a network of tall tower stations in continental North America. Models that best reproduced the observed spatial and temporal variability in atmospheric CO2 were those that had strongest growing season uptake in croplands, which runs counter to the general vies of that this uptake is dominated by forests.

Citation: Sun, W., Fang, Y., Luo, R. et al. [2021]. Midwest U.S. croplands determine model divergence in North American carbon fluxes. AGU Advances, 2, e2020AV000310.

—Susan Trumbore, Editor-in-Chief, AGU Advances

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