Wicks, T.E. and Curran, P.J.
Flipping forests: estimating future carbon sequestration of the boreal forest using remotely sensed data
International Journal of Remote Sensing, 24, (4), . (doi:10.1080/014311603762876078).
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To reduce uncertainty in national and global carbon budgets, carbon sequestration can be estimated for large areas of land by driving an aspatial ecosystem simulation model (ESM) spatially, with remotely sensed biophysical data. This letter investigates the impact of future climate change on the boreal forest carbon budget by driving the FOREST-BGC (-Bio-Geochemical Cycling) ESM (under three different carbon dioxide (CO2) emission scenarios) using remotely sensed (NOAA AVHRR) estimates of leaf area index (LAI) as part of the Boreal Ecosystem Atmosphere Study (BOREAS).We demonstrate that boreal forests will continue to provide a substantial 'brake' on the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2, provided anthropogenic emissions reduce dramatically to within the limits of the 'Kyoto Protocol'. However, if anthropogenic emissions follow the unmitigated scenario (i.e. 'business as usual'), carbon sequestration will increase to a maximum by around 2050 but thereafter collapse, resulting in a disappearance of the boreal carbon sink by around 2080. An ESM and remotely sensed data was a viable predictive tool for the study of carbon sequestration over land and has potential as an aid for policy and management decisions.
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