The carbon balance of Africa: synthesis of recent research studies
|Domaine de recherche:||Uncategorized||Année:||2011|
|Type de publication:||Article||Mots-clés:||climate; carbon balance; carbon cycle; Africa INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY; TROPICAL FORESTS; LAND-USE; SAVANNA; ECOSYSTEMS; BIOMASS; PRODUCTIVITY; EMISSIONS; DIOXIDE; FIRE|
|Journal:||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society a-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences||Volume:||369|
ISI Document Delivery No.: 751LK Times Cited: 1 Cited Reference Count: 66
The African continent contributes one of the largest uncertainties to the global CO2 budget, because very few long-term measurements are carried out in this region. The contribution of Africa to the global carbon cycle is characterized by its low fossil fuel emissions, a rapidly increasing population causing cropland expansion, and degradation and deforestation risk to extensive dryland and savannah ecosystems and to tropical forests in Central Africa. A synthesis of the carbon balance of African ecosystems is provided at different scales, including observations of land-atmosphere CO2 flux and soil carbon and biomass carbon stocks. A review of the most recent estimates of the net long-term carbon balance of African ecosystems is provided, including losses from fire disturbance, based upon observations, giving a sink of the order of 0.2 Pg C yr(-1) with a large uncertainty around this number. By comparison, fossil fuel emissions are only of the order of 0.2 Pg C yr(-1) and land-use emissions are of the order of 0.24 Pg C yr(-1). The sources of year-to-year variations in the ecosystem carbon-balance are also discussed. Recommendations for the deployment of a coordinated carbon-monitoring system for African ecosystems are given.