Research Press Release

Sink suppressionAdd to my bookmarks

Nature Geoscience

July 30, 2012

The turn of the century drought in western North America significantly reduced carbon uptake in the region, reports a study published online in Nature Geoscience this week. Fossil fuel emissions aside, temperate North America currently serves as a net sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Christopher Schwalm and colleagues used satellite and observational data to assess the impact of the 2000-2004 drought in western North America on carbon uptake in the region. They show that carbon uptake declined by around 50% during the drought. Based on projected changes in rainfall and drought severity, they suggest that the present-day carbon sink in western North America could disappear by the end of the century.

DOI:10.1038/ngeo1529 | Original article

Research highlights

PrivacyMark System