EAPS DLS - Cesar Terrer (MIT)

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 4:00pm

Building 54, Room 915
21 AMES ST, Cambridge, MA 02139

Carbon Accumulation in Land Under Rising CO2

Land ecosystems sequester on average about a third of anthropogenic CO2 emissions every year. The fate of this ecosystem service is however highly uncertain, with climate models projecting both positive and negative trends this century. I synthesize findings from elevated CO2 experiments to quantify the potential of plants and soils to store carbon with future levels of CO2. My results suggest that forests still have room for further growth with elevated CO2, though the magnitude of this effect is three times lower than previously thought. In addition, I found a trade-off between plant and soil carbon storage, whereby putting more carbon in biomass results in a decrease in soil carbon storage. I will also highlight the importance of grasslands in helping to draw down carbon from the atmosphere. My data-driven results challenge previously held assumptions about the carbon cycle and can be used to improve climate projections and guide natural climate solutions.


About this Series: The Department Lecture Series at EAPS at MIT is a series of weekly talks given by leading thinkers in the areas of geology, geophysics, geobiology, geochemistry, atmospheric science, oceanography, climatology, and planetary science. For more information and Zoom password please contact Madelyn Musick: mmusick@mit.edu


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Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
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