Climatic Change

, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 365-378

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Net primary production of terrestrial ecosystems from 2000 to 2009

  • Christopher PotterAffiliated withNASA Ames Research Center Email author 
  • , Steven KloosterAffiliated withCalifornia State University Monterey Bay
  • , Vanessa GenoveseAffiliated withCalifornia State University Monterey Bay


The CASA (Carnegie-Ames-Stanford) ecosystem model has been used to estimate monthly carbon fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems from 2000 to 2009, with global data inputs from NASA’s Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation cover mapping. Net primary production (NPP) flux for atmospheric carbon dioxide has varied slightly from year-to-year, but was predicted to have increased over short multi-year periods in the regions of the high-latitude Northern Hemisphere, South Asia, Central Africa, and the western Amazon since the year 2000. These CASA results for global NPP were found to be in contrast to other recently published modeling trends for terrestrial NPP with high sensitivity to regional drying patterns. Nonetheless, periodic declines in regional NPP were predicted by CASA for the southern and western Untied States, the southern Amazon, and southern and eastern Africa. NPP in tropical forest zones was examined in greater detail to discover lower annual production values than previously reported in many global models across the tropical rainforest zones, likely due to the enhanced detection of lower production ecosystems replacing primary rainforest.