Workshop summary statement: Terrestrial biospheric carbon fluxes - Quantification of sinks and sources of CO2

  • Sampson R
  • Apps M
  • Brown S
 et al. 
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Abstract

Understanding the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the global carbon (C) cycle has become increasingly important as policymakers consider options to address the issues associated with global change, particularly climate change. Sound scientific theories are critical in predicting how these systems may respond in the future, both to climate change and human actions. In March 1993, 60 scientists from 13 nations gathered in Bad Harzburg, Germany, to develop a state-of-the-science assessment of the present and likely future C fluxes associated with the major components of the earth's terrestrial biosphere. In the process, particular emphasis was placed on the potential for improving C sinks and managing long-term C sequestration. The majority of the week's work was conducted in eight working groups which independently considered a particular biome or subject area. The working groups considered: the Global Carbon Cycle; Boreal Forests and Tundra; Temperate Forests; Tropical Forests; Grasslands, Savannas and Deserts; Land and Water Interface Zones; Agroecosystems; and Biomass Management. This paper presents a brief overview of their major conclusions and findings. In addition, Table 1 brings together the best estimates from each group as to the current magnitude and estimated future direction of changes in the terrestrial C fluxes. Understanding the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the global carbon (C) cycle has become increasingly important as policy makers consider options to address the issues associated with global change, particularly climate change. Sound scientific theories are critical in predicting how these systems may respond in the future, both to change and human actions. In March 1993, 60 scientists from 13 nations gathered in Bad Harzburg, Germany, to develop a state-of-the science assessment of the present and likely future C fluxes associated with the major components of the earth's terrestrial biosphere. In the process, particular emphasis was placed on the potential for improving C sinks and managing long-term C sequestration. The majority of the week's work was conducted in eight working groups which independently considered a particular biome or subject area. The working groups considered: the Global Carbon Cycle; Boreal Forests and Tundra; Temperature Forests; Tropical Forests; /grasslands, Savannas and Deserts; Land and Water Interface Zones; Agroecosystems; and Biomass Management. This paper presets a brief overview of their major conclusions and findings. In addition, Table 1 brings together the best estimates from each group as to the current magnitude and estimated future direction of changes in the terrestrial C fluxes.

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Authors

  • R N Sampson

  • M Apps

  • S Brown

  • C V Cole

  • J Downing

  • L S Heath

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