Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Biogeosciences, 7, 513–519, 2010

Special issue: Carbon cycling in Sub-Saharan Africa

Biogeosciences, 7, 513–519, 2010

  08 Feb 2010

08 Feb 2010

The African contribution to the global climate-carbon cycle feedback of the 21st century

P. Friedlingstein1,2, P. Cadule1,3, S. L. Piao4, P. Ciais1, and S. Sitch5 P. Friedlingstein et al.
  • 1IPSL/LSCE, UMR 1572 CEA-CNRS, CEA-Saclay, L'Orme des Merisiers, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 2QUEST, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK
  • 3IPSL, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris, France
  • 4Department of Ecology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 5School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

Abstract. Future climate change will have impact on global and regional terrestrial carbon balances. The fate of African tropical forests over the 21st century has been investigated through global coupled climate carbon cycle model simulations. Under the SRES-A2 socio-economic CO2 emission scenario of the IPCC, and using the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace coupled ocean-terrestrial carbon cycle and climate model, IPSL-CM4-LOOP, we found that the warming over African ecosystems induces a reduction of net ecosystem productivity, making a 38% contribution to the global climate-carbon cycle positive feedback. Most of this contribution comes from African grasslands, followed by African savannahs, African tropical forest contributing little to the global climate-carbon feedback. However, the vulnerability of the African rainforest ecosystem is quite large. In contrast, the Amazon forest, despite its lower vulnerability, has a much larger overall contribution due to its 6 times larger extent.

Final-revised paper