Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
Short communication
27 Nov 2015
Short communication |  | 27 Nov 2015

Quantifying differences in land use emission estimates implied by definition discrepancies

B. D. Stocker and F. Joos

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Cited articles

Arora, V. K. and Boer, G. J.: Uncertainties in the 20th century carbon budget associated with land use change, Global Change Biol., 16, 3327–3348,, 2010.
Baccini, A., Goetz, S. J., Walker, W. S., Laporte, N. T., Sun, M., Sulla-Menashe, D., Hackler, J., Beck, P. S. A., Dubayah, R., Friedl, M. A., Samanta, S., and Houghton, R. A.: Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from tropical deforestation improved by carbon-density maps, Nat. Clim. Change, 2, 182–185,, 2012.
Ballantyne, A. P., Alden, C. B., Miller, J. B., Tans, P. P., and White, J. W. C.: Increase in observed net carbon dioxide uptake by land and oceans during the past 50 years, Nature, 488, 70–72,, 2012.
Canadell, J. G., Le Quere, C., Raupach, M. R., Field, C. B., Buitenhuis, E. T., Ciais, P., Conway, T. J., Gillett, N. P., Houghton, R. A., and Marland, G.: Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO2 growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sinks, P. Natl. Acad. Sci., 104, 18866–18870,, 2007.
Ciais, P., Sabine, C., Bala, G., Bopp, L., Brovkin, V., Canadell, J., A., C., DeFries, R., J., G., Heimann, M., Jones, C., Le Quéré, C., Myneni, R., S., P., and Thornton, P.: Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles, in: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, in: Working Group I Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by: Stocker, T., Qin, D., Plattner, G.-K., Tignor, M., Allen, S., Boschung, J., Nauels, A., Xia, Y., Bex, V., and Midgley, P., Cambridge University Press, 571–658, 2013.
Short summary
Estimates for land use change CO2 emissions (eLUC) rely on different approaches, implying conceptual differences of what eLUC represents. We use an Earth System Model and quantify differences between two commonly applied methods to be ~20% for historical eLUC but increasing under a future scenario. We decompose eLUC into component fluxes, quantify them, and discuss best practices for global carbon budget accountings and model-data intercomparisons relying on different methods to estimate eLUC.
Final-revised paper