Articles | Volume 8, issue 5
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 1321–1338, 2015
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 1321–1338, 2015

Development and technical paper 06 May 2015

Development and technical paper | 06 May 2015

Modelling the role of fires in the terrestrial carbon balance by incorporating SPITFIRE into the global vegetation model ORCHIDEE – Part 2: Carbon emissions and the role of fires in the global carbon balance

C. Yue et al.

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Cited articles

Archibald, S., Lehmann, C. E. R., GómezsDans, J. L., and Bradstock, R. A.: Defining pyromes and global syndromes of fire regimes, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110, 6442–6447,, 2013.
Balshi, M. S., McGuire, A. D., Duffy, P., Flannigan, M., Kicklighter, D. W., and Melillo, J.: Vulnerability of carbon storage in North American boreal forests to wildfires during the 21st century, Global Change Biol., 15, 1491–1510, 2009.
Beck, P. S. A., Goetz, S. J., Mack, M. C., Alexander, H. D., Jin, Y., Randerson, J. T., and Loranty, M. M.: The impacts and implications of an intensifying fire regime on Alaskan boreal forest composition and albedo, Global Change Biol., 17, 2853–2866,, 2011.
Bond, W. J., Woodward, F. I., and Midgley, G. F.: The global distribution of ecosystems in a world without fire, New Phytol., 165, 525–537,, 2005.
Short summary
We conducted parallel simulations using a global land surface model, with and without fires being included, respectively. When the anthropogenic land cover change fire is excluded, we find that natural wildfires have reduced the global land carbon uptake by 0.3Pg C per year over 1901-2012. This is equivalent to 20% of the land carbon uptake in a world without fire. This fire-induced reduction in carbon uptake could be partly explained by climate variability, in particular the ENSO events.