The Response of Global Terrestrial Ecosystems to Interannual Temperature Variability

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Science  31 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5339, pp. 870-873
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5339.870

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Measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide and satellite-derived measurements of temperature and the vegetation index were used to investigate relationships among climate, carbon dioxide, and ecosystems. At the global scale, lagged correlations between temperature and carbon dioxide growth rate were found, indicating modulation by biogeochemical feedbacks. Spatial analysis of the temperature and vegetation index data suggests that the global correlations are a composite of individualistic responses of different ecosystems. The existence of biome-specific time scales of response implies that changes in global ecosystem distributions could indirectly alter the relationships between climate and carbon storage.

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