A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests

Yude Pan, Richard A. Birdsey, Jingyun Fang, Richard Houghton, Pekka E. Kauppi, Werner A. Kurz, Oliver L. Phillips, Anatoly Shvidenko, Simon L. Lewis, Josep G. Canadell, Philippe Ciais, Robert B. Jackson, Stephen W. Pacala, A. David McGuire, Shilong Piao, Aapo Rautiainen, Stephen Sitch, Daniel Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2610 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The terrestrial carbon sink has been large in recent decades, but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem carbon studies, we estimate a total forest sink of 2.4 ± 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year-1) globally for 1990 to 2007. We also estimate a source of 1.3 ± 0.7 Pg C year-1 from tropical land-use change, consisting of a gross tropical deforestation emission of 2.9 ± 0.5 Pg C year-1 partially compensated by a carbon sink in tropical forest regrowth of 1.6 ± 0.5 Pg C year-1. Together, the fluxes comprise a net global forest sink of 1.1 ± 0.8 Pg C year-1, with tropical estimates having the largest uncertainties. Our total forest sink estimate is equivalent in magnitude to the terrestrial sink deduced from fossil fuel emissions and land-use change sources minus ocean and atmospheric sinks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-993
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume333
Issue number6045
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 19 2011

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Carbon Sequestration
Carbon
Fossil Fuels
Conservation of Natural Resources
Oceans and Seas
Uncertainty
Ecosystem
Forests
Equipment and Supplies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Pan, Y., Birdsey, R. A., Fang, J., Houghton, R., Kauppi, P. E., Kurz, W. A., ... Hayes, D. (2011). A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests. Science, 333(6045), 988-993. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1201609
Pan, Yude ; Birdsey, Richard A. ; Fang, Jingyun ; Houghton, Richard ; Kauppi, Pekka E. ; Kurz, Werner A. ; Phillips, Oliver L. ; Shvidenko, Anatoly ; Lewis, Simon L. ; Canadell, Josep G. ; Ciais, Philippe ; Jackson, Robert B. ; Pacala, Stephen W. ; McGuire, A. David ; Piao, Shilong ; Rautiainen, Aapo ; Sitch, Stephen ; Hayes, Daniel. / A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests. In: Science. 2011 ; Vol. 333, No. 6045. pp. 988-993.
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Pan, Y, Birdsey, RA, Fang, J, Houghton, R, Kauppi, PE, Kurz, WA, Phillips, OL, Shvidenko, A, Lewis, SL, Canadell, JG, Ciais, P, Jackson, RB, Pacala, SW, McGuire, AD, Piao, S, Rautiainen, A, Sitch, S & Hayes, D 2011, 'A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests', Science, vol. 333, no. 6045, pp. 988-993. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1201609

A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests. / Pan, Yude; Birdsey, Richard A.; Fang, Jingyun; Houghton, Richard; Kauppi, Pekka E.; Kurz, Werner A.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Lewis, Simon L.; Canadell, Josep G.; Ciais, Philippe; Jackson, Robert B.; Pacala, Stephen W.; McGuire, A. David; Piao, Shilong; Rautiainen, Aapo; Sitch, Stephen; Hayes, Daniel.

In: Science, Vol. 333, No. 6045, 19.08.2011, p. 988-993.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Pan, Yude

AU - Birdsey, Richard A.

AU - Fang, Jingyun

AU - Houghton, Richard

AU - Kauppi, Pekka E.

AU - Kurz, Werner A.

AU - Phillips, Oliver L.

AU - Shvidenko, Anatoly

AU - Lewis, Simon L.

AU - Canadell, Josep G.

AU - Ciais, Philippe

AU - Jackson, Robert B.

AU - Pacala, Stephen W.

AU - McGuire, A. David

AU - Piao, Shilong

AU - Rautiainen, Aapo

AU - Sitch, Stephen

AU - Hayes, Daniel

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N2 - The terrestrial carbon sink has been large in recent decades, but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem carbon studies, we estimate a total forest sink of 2.4 ± 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year-1) globally for 1990 to 2007. We also estimate a source of 1.3 ± 0.7 Pg C year-1 from tropical land-use change, consisting of a gross tropical deforestation emission of 2.9 ± 0.5 Pg C year-1 partially compensated by a carbon sink in tropical forest regrowth of 1.6 ± 0.5 Pg C year-1. Together, the fluxes comprise a net global forest sink of 1.1 ± 0.8 Pg C year-1, with tropical estimates having the largest uncertainties. Our total forest sink estimate is equivalent in magnitude to the terrestrial sink deduced from fossil fuel emissions and land-use change sources minus ocean and atmospheric sinks.

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Pan Y, Birdsey RA, Fang J, Houghton R, Kauppi PE, Kurz WA et al. A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests. Science. 2011 Aug 19;333(6045):988-993. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1201609