Changes in terrestrial carbon storage during interglacials: a comparison between Eemian and HoloceneReport as inadecuate

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1 MPI-M - Max Planck Institute for Meteorology 2 Center for Climatic Research

Abstract : A complex earth system model atmosphere and ocean general circulation models, ocean biogeochemistry and terrestrial biosphere was used to perform transient simulations of two interglacial sections Eemian, 128?113 ky B.P., and Holocene, 9 ky B.P.-present. The changes in terrestrial carbon storage during these interglacials were studied with respect to changes in the earth-s orbit. The effect of different climate factors for the changes in carbon storage were studied in offline experiments in which the vegetation model was forced with only temperature, hydrological parameters, radiation, or CO2 concentration from the transient runs. Although temperature caused the largest anomalies in terrestrial carbon storage, the increase in storage due to forest expansion and increased photosynthesis in the high latitudes was nearly balanced by the decrease due to increased respiration. Large positive effects on carbon storage came from an enhanced monsoon circulation in the subtropics between 128 and 121 ky B.P. and between 9 and 6 ky B.P., and from increases in incoming radiation during summer for 45° to 70° N compared to a control run with present-day insolation. Compared to this control run, the net effect of these changes was a positive carbon storage anomaly of about 200 Pg C for 125 ky B.P. and 7 ky B.P., and a negative anomaly around 150 Pg C for 116 ky B.P. Although the net increases for Eemian and Holocene were rather similar, the causes of this differ substantially. The decrease in terrestrial carbon storage during the experiments was the main driver of an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration for both the Eemian and the Holocene.

Author: G. Schurgers - U. Mikolajewicz - M. Gröger - E. Maier-Reimer - M. Vizcaîno - A. Winguth -



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