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Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming

Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming
Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming
The carbon sink potential of peatlands depends on the balance between carbon uptake by plants and microbial decomposition. The rates of both these processes will increase with warming but it remains unclear which will dominate the global peatland response. Here we examine the global relationship between peatland carbon accumulation rates during the last millennium and planetary-scale climate space. A positive relationship is found between carbon accumulation and cumulative photosynthetically active radiation during the growing season for mid- to high-latitude peatlands in both hemispheres. However, this relationship reverses at lower latitudes, suggesting that carbon accumulation is lower under the warmest climate regimes. Projections under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 scenarios indicate that the present-day global sink will increase slightly until ~2100 AD but decline thereafter. Peatlands will remain a carbon sink in the future, but their response to warming switches from a negative to a positive climate feedback (decreased carbon sink with warming) at the end of the 21st century.
peatlands, carbon cycle, climate change, tropical peat, last millennium
1758-678X
907-913
Gallego-Sala, Angela V.
766f6490-7513-42ad-a9f9-7cfa7b17b86d
Charman, Dan J.
364856dc-8832-4264-bebb-c876fab480a0
Brewer, Simon
8b6f3b07-e2c0-42bc-b322-405eca232a7d
Hughes, Paul
14f83168-b203-4a91-a850-8c48535dc31b
et al.
Gallego-Sala, Angela V.
766f6490-7513-42ad-a9f9-7cfa7b17b86d
Charman, Dan J.
364856dc-8832-4264-bebb-c876fab480a0
Brewer, Simon
8b6f3b07-e2c0-42bc-b322-405eca232a7d
Hughes, Paul
14f83168-b203-4a91-a850-8c48535dc31b

Gallego-Sala, Angela V., Charman, Dan J. and Brewer, Simon , et al. (2018) Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming. Nature Climate Change, 8 (10), 907-913. (doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0271-1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The carbon sink potential of peatlands depends on the balance between carbon uptake by plants and microbial decomposition. The rates of both these processes will increase with warming but it remains unclear which will dominate the global peatland response. Here we examine the global relationship between peatland carbon accumulation rates during the last millennium and planetary-scale climate space. A positive relationship is found between carbon accumulation and cumulative photosynthetically active radiation during the growing season for mid- to high-latitude peatlands in both hemispheres. However, this relationship reverses at lower latitudes, suggesting that carbon accumulation is lower under the warmest climate regimes. Projections under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 scenarios indicate that the present-day global sink will increase slightly until ~2100 AD but decline thereafter. Peatlands will remain a carbon sink in the future, but their response to warming switches from a negative to a positive climate feedback (decreased carbon sink with warming) at the end of the 21st century.

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Accepted/In Press date: 7 September 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 September 2018
Published date: 10 September 2018
Additional Information: Gallego-sala et al. (75 authors)
Keywords: peatlands, carbon cycle, climate change, tropical peat, last millennium

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Local EPrints ID: 423831
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423831
ISSN: 1758-678X
PURE UUID: b63c59d0-ff18-46b3-96f3-40f7aa49481a

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Date deposited: 02 Oct 2018 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 04:29

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Contributors

Author: Angela V. Gallego-Sala
Author: Dan J. Charman
Author: Simon Brewer
Author: Paul Hughes
Corporate Author: et al.

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