Data on three major determinants of the carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems are used with the process-based Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) to simulate the combined effect of climate variability, increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration, and cropland establishment and abandonment on the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and monsoon Asian ecosystems. During 1860-1990, modeled results suggest that monsoon Asia as a whole released 29.0 Pg C, which represents 50% of the global carbon release for this period. Carbon release varied across three subregions: East Asia (4.3 Pg C), South Asia (6.6 Pg C), and Southeast Asia (18.1 Pg C). For the entire region, the simulations indicate that land-use change alone has led to a loss of 42.6 Pg C. However, increasing CO2 and climate variability have added carbon to terrestrial ecosystems to compensate for 23% and 8% of the losses due to land-use change, respectively. During 1980-1989, monsoon Asia as a whole acted as a source of carbon to the atmosphere, releasing an average of 0.158 Pg C per year. Two of the subregions acted as net carbon source and one acted as a net carbon sink. Southeast Asia and South Asia were sources of 0.288 and 0.02 Pg C per year, respectively, while East Asia was a sink of 0.149 Pg C per year. Substantial interannual and decadal variations occur in the annual net carbon storage estimated by TEM due to comparable variations in summer precipitation and its effect on net primary production (NPP). At longer time scales, land-use change appears to be the important control on carbon dynamics in this region. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Regional carbon dynamics in monsoon Asia and its implications for the global carbon cycle