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Journal Article

Tracking 21st century anthropogenic and natural carbon fluxes through model-data integration


Nabel,  Julia E. M. S.       
Computational Infrastructure and Model Devlopment (CIMD), Scientific Computing Lab (ScLab), MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;


Pongratz,  Julia       
Climate-Biogeosphere Interaction, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Bultan, S., Nabel, J. E. M. S., Hartung, K., Ganzenmüller, R., Xu, L., Saatchi, S., et al. (2022). Tracking 21st century anthropogenic and natural carbon fluxes through model-data integration. Nature Communications, 13: 5516. doi:10.1038/s41467-022-32456-0.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-2849-7
Monitoring the implementation of emission commitments under the Paris agreement relies on accurate estimates of terrestrial carbon fluxes. Here, we assimilate a 21st century observation-based time series of woody vegetation carbon densities into a bookkeeping model (BKM). This approach allows us to disentangle the observation-based carbon fluxes by terrestrial woody vegetation into anthropogenic and environmental contributions. Estimated emissions (from land-use and land cover changes) between 2000 and 2019 amount to 1.4 PgC yr−1, reducing the difference to other carbon cycle model estimates by up to 88% compared to previous estimates with the BKM (without the data assimilation). Our estimates suggest that the global woody vegetation carbon sink due to environmental processes (1.5 PgC yr−1) is weaker and more susceptible to interannual variations and extreme events than estimated by state-of-the-art process-based carbon cycle models. These findings highlight the need to advance model-data integration to improve estimates of the terrestrial carbon cycle under the Global Stocktake.