North American carbon dioxide sources and sinks: Magnitude, attribution, and uncertainty

Anthony W. King, Daniel J. Hayes, Deborah N Huntzinger, Tristram O. West, Wilfred M. Post

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-519
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

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uncertainty
carbon dioxide
fossil fuel
ecosystem
fossil fuels
secondary forest
deforestation
ecosystems
photosynthesis
combustion
atmosphere
wood products
vegetation
carbon
biomass
secondary forests
soil
Mexico
North America
continent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

North American carbon dioxide sources and sinks : Magnitude, attribution, and uncertainty. / King, Anthony W.; Hayes, Daniel J.; Huntzinger, Deborah N; West, Tristram O.; Post, Wilfred M.

In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 10, No. 10, 12.2012, p. 512-519.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

King, Anthony W. ; Hayes, Daniel J. ; Huntzinger, Deborah N ; West, Tristram O. ; Post, Wilfred M. / North American carbon dioxide sources and sinks : Magnitude, attribution, and uncertainty. In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2012 ; Vol. 10, No. 10. pp. 512-519.
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