Smith, M.J., Joppa, L., Purves, D., Vanderwel, M., Lyutsarev, V., Emmott, and S.
9 December 2013
Estimates of biogeochemical properties should ideally be reported with uncertainty. But what are the consequences of that uncertainty for real world decisions, applications and future research? We recently published the world’s first fully data-constrained global terrestrial carbon model - in which all parameters of a simple process-based carbon model have been inferred as probability distributions from empirical datasets on carbon stocks and fluxes. This estimates potential terrestrial carbon storage for every locality on earth as a probability distribution. Here we explore the implications of that uncertainty for Agriculture, Forestry, and Land Use change (AFOLU) projects aiming to generate money from carbon fixation and storage. We estimate that, at $20 per ton avoided CO2 emissions, further reducing uncertainty in the model parameters alone would generate thousands of additional dollars per hectare for individual projects, exceeding returns from crops and timber in many places, and of the order of billions of additional dollars for global carbon markets overall. This shows a very real financial incentive for performing research to further reduce uncertainty in terrestrial carbon estimates as well as a financial measure of the impact of performing additional research.
|Book title||Poster at 2013 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 Dec.|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|
Oleksandra Hararuk, Matthew J. Smith, and Yiqi Luo. Microbial models with data-driven parameters predict stronger soil carbon responses to climate change, Global Change Biology, Wiley, 1 December 2014.
Oleksandra Hararuk and Matthew J. Smith. Importance of modelling microbial dynamics in soil: evaluation of conventional and microbial soil models informed by observations across various plant functional types, 15 December 2014.
Yiqi Luo, Trevor F. Keenan, and Matthew J. Smith. Predictability of the terrestrial carbon cycle, Global Change Biology, Wiley, October 2014.
William R. Weider, Steven D. Allison, Eric A. Davidson, Katerina Georgiou, Oleksandra Hararuk, Yujie He, Francesca Hopkins, Matthew J. Smith, Benjamin Sulman, Katherine Todd-Brown, Ying-Ping Wang, Jianyang Xia, and Xiaofeng Xu. Explicitly representing soil microbial processes in Earth system models, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, AGU Publications, 1 October 2015.
Yiqi Luo, Anders Ahlstrom, Steven D. Allison, Niels H. Batjes, Victor Brovkin, Nuno Carvalhais, Adrian Chappell, Philippe Ciais, Eric A. Davidson, Adien Finzi, Katerina Georgiou, Bertrand Guenet, Oleksandra Hararuk, Jennifer W. Harden, Yujie He, Francesca Hopkins, Lifen Jiang, Charlie Koven, Robert B. Jackson, Chris D. Jones, Mark J. Lara, Junyi Liang, A. David McGuire, William Parton, Changhui Peng, James T. Randerson, Alejandro Salazar, Carlos A. Sierra, Matthew J. Smith, Hanqin Tian, Katherine E. O. Todd-Brown, Margaret Torn, Kees Jan van Groenigen, Ying Ping Wang, Tristan O. West, Yaxing Wei, William R. Wieder, Jianyang Xia, Xia Xu, Xiaofeng Xu, and Tao Zhou. Towards More Realistic Projections of Soil Carbon Dynamics by Earth System Models, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 17 December 2015.
Katherine E Todd-Brown, Yiqi Luo, James Tremper Randerson, Stephen D. Allison, and Matthew J. Smith. Understanding the Dynamics of Soil Carbon in CMIP5 Models, 15 December 2014.
Yiqi Luo, Zheng Shi, Lifen Jiang, Jianyang Xia, Ying Wang, Manoj Kc, Junyi Liang, Xingjie Lu, Shuli Niu, Anders Ahlstrom, Oleksandra Hararuk, Alan Hastings, Forrest Hoffman, Belinda E. Medlyn, Martin Rasmussen, Matthew J. Smith, Kathe E. Todd-Brown, and Yingping Wang. Terrestrial carbon storage dynamics: Chasing a moving target, American Geophysical Union, 5 November 2015.
J. Meyerholt, S. Zaehle, and M. J. Smith. Variability of projected terrestrial biosphere responses to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 due to uncertainty in biological nitrogen fixation , Biogeosciences Discussions, 9 December 2015.