Why are CO2 and Temperature Important?
Tropical forests exchange approximately 41 petagrams of carbon per year with the atmosphere – the largest carbon flux of any ecosystem on the planet. Global increases in CO2 concentrations and associated changes in temperature can have both direct and indirect effects on this exchange, and on the amount of carbon allocated to forest growth. To reliably project future climate, Earth system models (ESMs) must accurately represent these huge CO2 fluxes and effects of rising CO2 and temperature on tropical forests.
Despite the importance of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle, their response to rising CO2 and temperature remains a major source of uncertainty in ESMs. To address this challenge, NGEE-Tropics is working to advance understanding and model representation of key processes associated with photosynthesis, respiration, and carbon allocation and their sensitivity to temperature and CO2.
NGEE-Tropics is advancing understanding and model representation of tropical forest carbon uptake and allocation in response to rising temperature and CO2
In Phase 1 of NGEE-Tropics, we address rising CO2 AND TEMPERATURE by:
- Assessing uncertainty associated with representation of photosynthesis in leaf-level models and their implications in the NGEE-Tropics ACME-FATES model
- Assessing uncertainty associated with variation in carbon uptake, respiration, and allocation to focus future model development and field measurements
- Developing an approach to represent acclimation, carbon allocation, and photosynthetic seasonality in the NGEE-Tropics ACME-FATES model
- Linking leaf-level physiology with spectroscopic measurements to enable scaling of physiological traits for model initialization and evaluation