Research Press Release

Consequences of uneven climate warming for land-based ecosystems

Nature Geoscience

February 24, 2014

The uptake of carbon dioxide by land-based ecosystems at high latitudes could be stimulated by spring warming, reports a review article published online in Nature Geoscience. The authors argue that the effects of non-uniform rates of warming across seasons and times of the day should be taken into account when assessing the consequences of climate change for terrestrial ecosystems.

Shiqiang Wan and colleagues assessed the effects of season-specific warming, as well as day- and night-time warming, on carbon dioxide uptake and release in terrestrial ecosystems over the past 60 years, using satellite data, observations and model simulations. They show that the effect of seasonal warming varies between regions, with spring warming increasing carbon uptake at high latitudes, and suppressing uptake elsewhere. The consequences of day and night warming also vary across regions.


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