FLUXES: Climate change makes carbon sinks more vulnerable

Fluxes cover

FLUXES, the European Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, is a new publication by ICOS, the Integrated Carbon Observation System, which aims at highlighting climate issues to a wider audience. The first volume of FLUXES has just been released. It focuses on changes in carbon sinks in Europe.
 
In this first issue, a large team of researchers from ICOS - including members of the IUP Heidelberg, which hosts the ICOS radiocarbon lab - shows that natural and human factors can cause natural carbon sinks such as forests, crop fields, or parts of the ocean to become carbon emitters. Using data from long-term ground-based observations, the researchers conclude in FLUXES that the natural shifts in carbon concentrations are related to changes in weather and extreme events, which are expected to occur more frequently in the future due to global warming. Furthermore, human actions have a direct impact: thinning or clear-cutting forests, or changing agricultural practices change the ecosystem’s ability to sink carbon.

The vulnerability of natural carbon sinks highlights the need to reduce emissions further in order to reach carbon neutrality targets.

FLUXES page: https://www.icos-cp.eu/fluxes