, Volume 78, Issue 1-3, pp 137-156

Amazonian forest dieback under climate-carbon cycle projections for the 21st century

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Summary

The first GCM climate change projections to include dynamic vegetation and an interactive carbon cycle produced a very significant amplification of global warming over the 21st century. Under the IS92a “business as usual” emissions scenario CO2 concentrations reached about 980 ppmv by 2100, which is about 280 ppmv higher than when these feedbacks were ignored. The major contribution to the increased CO2 arose from reductions in soil carbon because global warming is assumed to accelerate respiration. However, there was also a lesser contribution from an alarming loss of the Amazonian rainforest. This paper describes the phenomenon of Amazonian forest dieback under elevated CO2 in the Hadley Centre climate-carbon cycle model.