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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/710

Title: Africa and the global carbon cycle
Authors: Williams, CA
Hanan, NP
Neff, JC
Scholes, RJ
Berry, JA
Denning, AS
Baker, DF
Keywords: Global carbon cycle
Savanna fire emissions
Atmospheric emissions
African continent
Issue Date: Mar-2007
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Williams, CA et al. 2007. Africa and the global carbon cycle. Carbon balance and management, Vol. 2(3), pp 1-13
Abstract: The African continent has a large and growing role in the global carbon cycle, with potentially important climate change implications. However, the sparse observation network in and around the African continent means that Africa is one of the weakest links in our understanding of the global carbon cycle. Here, data from regional and global inventories as well as forward and inverse model analyses to appraise what is known about Africa's continental-scale carbon dynamics has been combined. With low fossil emissions and productivity that largely compensates respiration, land conversion is Africa's primary net carbon release, much of it through burning of forests. Savanna fire emissions, though large, represent a short-term source that is offset by ensuing regrowth. While current data suggest a near zero decadal-scale carbon balance, inter annual climate fluctuations (especially drought) induce sizeable variability in net ecosystem productivity and savanna fire emissions such that Africa is a major source of inter annual variability in global atmospheric CO2. Considering the continent's sizeable carbon stocks, its seemingly high vulnerability to anticipated climate and land use change, as well as growing populations and industrialization, Africa's carbon emissions and its inter annual variability are likely to undergo substantial increases through the 21st century
Description: Copyright: 2007 BioMed Central Ltd
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/710
ISSN: 1750-0680
Appears in Collections:Climate change
Ecosystems processes & dynamics
General science, engineering & technology

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