North America is both a source and sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide CO2. Continental sources - such Abstract: fossil-fuel combustion in the US and deforestation in Mexico - and sinks - including most ecosystems, and particularly secondary forests - add and remove CO2 from the atmosphere, respectively. Photosynthesis converts CO2 into carbon as biomass, which is stored in vegetation, soils, and wood products. However, ecosystem sinks compensate for only ∼35% of the continent's fossil-fuel-based CO2 emissions; North America therefore represents a net CO2 source. Estimating the magnitude of ecosystem sinks, even though the calculation is confounded by uncertainty as a result of individual inventory- and model-based alternatives, has improved through the use of a combined approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics