The carbon cycle in Mexico: past, present and future of C stocks and fluxes
European Geosciences Union (EGU)
© Author(s) 2016. CC Attribution 3.0 License. This is the final version of the article. Available from European Geosciences Union (EGU) via the DOI in this record.
We modeled the carbon (C) cycle in Mexico with a process-based approach. We used different available products (satellite data, field measurements, models and flux towers) to estimate C stocks and fluxes in the country at three different time frames: present (defined as the period 2000–2005), the past century (1901–2000) and the remainder of this century (2010–2100). Our estimate of the gross primary productivity (GPP) for the country was 2137 ± 1023 TgC yr−1 and a total C stock of 34 506 ± 7483 TgC, with 20 347 ± 4622 TgC in vegetation and 14 159 ± 3861 in the soil. Contrary to other current estimates for recent decades, our results showed that Mexico was a C sink over the period 1990–2009 (+31 TgC yr−1) and that C accumulation over the last century amounted to 1210 ± 1040 TgC. We attributed this sink to the CO2 fertilization effect on GPP, which led to an increase of 3408 ± 1060 TgC, while both climate and land use reduced the country C stocks by −458 ± 1001 and −1740 ± 878 TgC, respectively. Under different future scenarios, the C sink will likely continue over the 21st century, with decreasing C uptake as the climate forcing becomes more extreme. Our work provides valuable insights on relevant driving processes of the C cycle such as the role of drought in drylands (e.g., grasslands and shrublands) and the impact of climate change on the mean residence time of soil C in tropical ecosystems.
The lead author (G. Murray-Tortarolo) thanks CONACYT-CECTI, the University of Exeter and Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) for their funding of this project. The authors extend their thanks to Carlos Ortiz Solorio and to the Colegio de Posgraduados for the field soil data and to the Alianza Redd+ Mexico for the field biomass data. This project would not have been possible without the valuable data from the CMIP5 models. A. Arneth, G. Murray-Tortarolo, A. Wiltshire and S. Sitch acknowledge the support of the European Commission-funded project LULCC4C (grant no. 603542). A. Wiltshire was partsupported by the Joint UK DECC/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (GA01101).
The Supplement related to this article is available online at doi:10.5194/bg-13-223-2016-supplement.
Vol. 13, pp. 223-238