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  1. Abstract Despite their sparse vegetation, dryland regions exert a huge influence over global biogeochemical cycles because they cover more than 40% of the world surface (Schimel 2010 Science 327 418–9). It is thought that drylands dominate the inter-annual variability (IAV) and long-term trend in the global carbon (C) cycle (Poulter et al 2014 Nature 509 600–3, Ahlstrom et al 2015 Science 348 895–9, Zhang et al 2018 Glob. Change Biol . 24 3954–68). Projections of the global land C sink therefore rely on accurate representation of dryland C cycle processes; however, the dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) used in future projections have rarely been evaluated against dryland C flux data. Here, we carried out an evaluation of 14 DGVMs (TRENDY v7) against net ecosystem exchange (NEE) data from 12 dryland flux sites in the southwestern US encompassing a range of ecosystem types (forests, shrub- and grasslands). We find that all the models underestimate both mean annual C uptake/release as well as the magnitude of NEE IAV, suggesting that improvements in representing dryland regions may improve global C cycle projections. Across all models, the sensitivity and timing of ecosystem C uptake to plant available moisture was at fault. Spring biases inmore »gross primary production (GPP) dominate the underestimate of mean annual NEE, whereas models’ lack of GPP response to water availability in both spring and summer monsoon are responsible for inability to capture NEE IAV. Errors in GPP moisture sensitivity at high elevation forested sites were more prominent during the spring, while errors at the low elevation shrub and grass-dominated sites were more important during the monsoon. We propose a range of hypotheses for why model GPP does not respond sufficiently to changing water availability that can serve as a guide for future dryland DGVM developments. Our analysis suggests that improvements in modeling C cycle processes across more than a quarter of the Earth’s land surface could be achieved by addressing the moisture sensitivity of dryland C uptake.« less
  2. Abstract. In the global methane budget, the largest natural sourceis attributed to wetlands, which encompass all ecosystems composed ofwaterlogged or inundated ground, capable of methane production. Among them,northern peatlands that store large amounts of soil organic carbon have beenfunctioning, since the end of the last glaciation period, as long-termsources of methane (CH4) and are one of the most significant methanesources among wetlands. To reduce uncertainty of quantifying methane flux in theglobal methane budget, it is of significance to understand the underlyingprocesses for methane production and fluxes in northern peatlands. A methanemodel that features methane production and transport by plants, ebullitionprocess and diffusion in soil, oxidation to CO2, and CH4 fluxes tothe atmosphere has been embedded in the ORCHIDEE-PEAT land surface modelthat includes an explicit representation of northern peatlands.ORCHIDEE-PCH4 was calibrated and evaluated on 14 peatland sites distributedon both the Eurasian and American continents in the northern boreal andtemperate regions. Data assimilation approaches were employed to optimizedparameters at each site and at all sites simultaneously. Results show thatmethanogenesis is sensitive to temperature and substrate availability overthe top 75 cm of soil depth. Methane emissions estimated using single siteoptimization (SSO) of model parameters are underestimated by 9 g CH4 m−2 yr−1 on average (i.e., 50 % higher thanmore »the site average ofyearly methane emissions). While using the multi-site optimization (MSO),methane emissions are overestimated by 5 g CH4 m−2 yr−1 onaverage across all investigated sites (i.e., 37 % lower than the siteaverage of yearly methane emissions).« less
  3. Abstract. Land surface modellers need measurable proxies toconstrain the quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2) assimilated bycontinental plants through photosynthesis, known as gross primary production(GPP). Carbonyl sulfide (COS), which is taken up by leaves through theirstomates and then hydrolysed by photosynthetic enzymes, is a candidate GPPproxy. A former study with the ORCHIDEE land surface model used a fixedratio of COS uptake to CO2 uptake normalised to respective ambientconcentrations for each vegetation type (leaf relative uptake, LRU) tocompute vegetation COS fluxes from GPP. The LRU approach is known to havelimited accuracy since the LRU ratio changes with variables such asphotosynthetically active radiation (PAR): while CO2 uptake slows underlow light, COS uptake is not light limited. However, the LRU approach hasbeen popular for COS–GPP proxy studies because of its ease of applicationand apparent low contribution to uncertainty for regional-scaleapplications. In this study we refined the COS–GPP relationship andimplemented in ORCHIDEE a mechanistic model that describes COS uptake bycontinental vegetation. We compared the simulated COS fluxes againstmeasured hourly COS fluxes at two sites and studied the model behaviour andlinks with environmental drivers. We performed simulations at a global scale,and we estimated the global COS uptake by vegetation to be −756 Gg S yr−1,in the middle range ofmore »former studies (−490 to −1335 Gg S yr−1). Basedon monthly mean fluxes simulated by the mechanistic approach in ORCHIDEE, wederived new LRU values for the different vegetation types, ranging between0.92 and 1.72, close to recently published averages for observed values of1.21 for C4 and 1.68 for C3 plants. We transported the COS using the monthlyvegetation COS fluxes derived from both the mechanistic and the LRUapproaches, and we evaluated the simulated COS concentrations at NOAA sites.Although the mechanistic approach was more appropriate when comparing tohigh-temporal-resolution COS flux measurements, both approaches gave similarresults when transporting with monthly COS fluxes and evaluating COSconcentrations at stations. In our study, uncertainties between these twoapproaches are of secondary importance compared to the uncertainties in theCOS global budget, which are currently a limiting factor to the potential ofCOS concentrations to constrain GPP simulated by land surface models on theglobal scale.« less
  4. Abstract. For the past decade, observations of carbonyl sulfide (OCS or COS) have been investigated as a proxy for carbon uptake by plants. OCS is destroyed by enzymes that interact with CO2 during photosynthesis, namely carbonic anhydrase (CA) and RuBisCO, where CA is the more important one. The majority of sources of OCS to the atmosphere are geographically separated from this large plant sink, whereas the sources and sinks of CO2 are co-located in ecosystems. The drawdown of OCS can therefore be related to the uptake of CO2 without the added complication of co-located emissions comparable in magnitude. Here we review the state of our understanding of the global OCS cycle and its applications to ecosystem carbon cycle science. OCS uptake is correlated well to plant carbon uptake, especially at the regional scale. OCS can be used in conjunction with other independent measures of ecosystem function, like solar-induced fluorescence and carbon and water isotope studies. More work needs to be done to generate global coverage for OCS observations and to link this powerful atmospheric tracer to systems where fundamental questions concerning the carbon and water cycle remain.

  5. Abstract. Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide(CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere,ocean, and terrestrial biosphere – the “global carbon budget” – isimportant to better understand the global carbon cycle, support thedevelopment of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here wedescribe data sets and methodology to quantify the five major components ofthe global carbon budget and their uncertainties. Fossil CO2emissions (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cementproduction data, while emissions from land use and land-use change (ELUC),mainly deforestation, are based on land use and land-use change data andbookkeeping models. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is measureddirectly and its growth rate (GATM) is computed from the annualchanges in concentration. The ocean CO2 sink (SOCEAN)and terrestrial CO2 sink (SLAND) are estimated withglobal process models constrained by observations. The resulting carbonbudget imbalance (BIM), the difference between the estimatedtotal emissions and the estimated changes in the atmosphere, ocean, andterrestrial biosphere, is a measure of imperfect data and understanding ofthe contemporary carbon cycle. All uncertainties are reported as ±1σ. For the last decade available (2008–2017), EFF was9.4±0.5 GtC yr−1, ELUC 1.5±0.7 GtC yr−1, GATM 4.7±0.02 GtC yr−1,SOCEAN 2.4±0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND 3.2±0.8 GtC yr−1, with a budget imbalance BIM of0.5 GtC yr−1 indicating overestimated emissions and/or underestimatedsinks. For the year 2017 alone, the growth inmore »EFF was about 1.6 %and emissions increased to 9.9±0.5 GtC yr−1. Also for 2017,ELUC was 1.4±0.7 GtC yr−1, GATM was 4.6±0.2 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN was 2.5±0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 3.8±0.8 GtC yr−1,with a BIM of 0.3 GtC. The global atmosphericCO2 concentration reached 405.0±0.1 ppm averaged over 2017.For 2018, preliminary data for the first 6–9 months indicate a renewedgrowth in EFF of +2.7 % (range of 1.8 % to 3.7 %) basedon national emission projections for China, the US, the EU, and India andprojections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in thecarbon intensity of the economy for the rest of the world. The analysispresented here shows that the mean and trend in the five components of theglobal carbon budget are consistently estimated over the period of 1959–2017,but discrepancies of up to 1 GtC yr−1 persist for the representationof semi-decadal variability in CO2 fluxes. A detailed comparisonamong individual estimates and the introduction of a broad range ofobservations show (1) no consensus in the mean and trend in land-use changeemissions, (2) a persistent low agreement among the different methods onthe magnitude of the land CO2 flux in the northern extra-tropics,and (3) an apparent underestimation of the CO2 variability by oceanmodels, originating outside the tropics. This living data update documentschanges in the methods and data sets used in this new global carbon budgetand the progress in understanding the global carbon cycle compared withprevious publications of this data set (Le Quéré et al., 2018, 2016,2015a, b, 2014, 2013). All results presented here can be downloaded from« less