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Journal Articles Science Year : 2011

A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests

Yude Pan
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Stephen Sitch


The terrestrial carbon sink has been large in recent decades, but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem carbon studies, we estimate a total forest sink of 2.4±0.4 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year-1) globally for 1990 to 2007. We also estimate a source of 1.3±0.7 Pg C year-1 from tropical land-use change, consisting of a gross tropical deforestation emission of 2.9±0.5 Pg C year-1 partially compensated by a carbon sink in tropical forest regrowth of 1.6±0.5 Pg C year-1. Together, the fluxes comprise a net global forest sink of 1.1±0.8 Pg C year-1, with tropical estimates having the largest uncertainties. Our total forest sink estimate is equivalent in magnitude to the terrestrial sink deduced from fossil fuel emissions and land-use change sources minus ocean and atmospheric sinks.
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cea-00819253 , version 1 (29-11-2022)



Yude Pan, Richard A. Birdsey, Jingyun Fang, Richard Houghton, Pekka E. Kauppi, et al.. A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests. Science, 2011, 333 (6045), pp.988-993. ⟨10.1126/science.1201609⟩. ⟨cea-00819253⟩
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