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Webinar: All about Carbon: An Overview of the State of Carbon Cycle Report

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Tuesday, 26 March 2019, 12:00

Tuesday, March 26, 2019. 12:00PM. Webinar: All about Carbon: An Overview of the State of Carbon Cycle Report. Melanie Mayes, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Sponsored by U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office. More information here.


Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) has decreased seawater pH at long-term observing stations around the world, driving ocean acidification that has already affected some marine species and altered fundamental ecosystem processes. Further effects are likely. While atmospheric CO2 rises at approximately the same rate all over the globe, its non-climate effects on land vary depending on climate and dominant species. In terrestrial ecosystems, rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected to increase plant photosynthesis, growth, and water-use efficiency, though these effects are reduced when nutrients, drought or other factors limit plant growth. Rising CO2 would likely change carbon storage and influence terrestrial hydrology and biogeochemical cycling, but concomitant effects on vegetation composition and nutrient feedbacks are challenging to predict, making decadal forecasts uncertain.


Consequences of rising atmospheric CO2 are expected to include difficult-to-predict changes in the ecosystem services that terrestrial and ocean systems provide to humans. Continued persistence of uptake of carbon by the land and ocean is uncertain. Climate and environmental change create complex feedbacks to the carbon cycle and it is not clear how feedbacks modulate future effects of rising CO2 on carbon sinks. These are several mechanisms that could reduce future sink capacity.

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