Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (1): 167-177.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202101013

• Ecosystem Services • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Contribution of terrestrial carbon sink to future warming in China, the United States, Russia and Canada

CUI Yaoping1,2(), LI Nan1,2, FU Yiming2, CHEN Liangyu2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Geospatial Technology for the Middle and Lower Yellow River Regions, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, Henan, China
    2. College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, Henan, China
  • Received:2019-04-02 Revised:2020-10-07 Online:2021-01-25 Published:2021-03-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071415);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671425);Outstanding Youth Foundation of Henan Natural Science(202300410049)


As a major climate forcing factor, CO2 is closely related to human activities, but many studies have overlooked the carbon absorption of terrestrial ecosystem to anthropogenic carbon emissions. China, the United States, Russia and Canada are the four countries with the largest area in the world at different socio-economic development stages. Quantifying the global radiative forcing contribution of CO2 emissions is important for assessing the climate effects of human and natural factors. Based on CO2 assimilation data, this study used a "carbon-climate" parameterization scheme to analyze the anthropogenic carbon emissions and its climatic effects while considering the climate effects of carbon sinks of terrestrial ecosystem. Then we obtained the net global radiative forcing contributions of the four countries. The results showed that the anthropogenic emissions of CO2 in all the four countries showed a significant increase (0.125 Pg C a -1). Meanwhile the carbon uptake of terrestrial ecosystems increased at a growth rate of 0.003 Pg C a -1. During the study period, the total anthropogenic carbon emissions of China and the United States accounted for 87.19% of the four countries while Russian terrestrial ecosystems had the strongest carbon absorption capacity, 14.69 Pg C. Correspondingly, as of 2016, the cooling effect of terrestrial ecosystems is -0.013 W m -2, which can offset 45.06% of the whole warming effects of anthropogenic carbon emissions, indicating that if the terrestrial ecosystems are not considered, the warming effect of anthropogenic carbon emissions will be significantly overestimated. Overall, the total anthropogenic carbon emissions of the four countries contributed 0.32 and 0.42 W m -2 of global radiative forcing, respectively, relative to the CO2 concentration levels before 2000 (initial year of this study) and before the Industrial Revolution. This study further explored the linear relationship between air temperature and radiative forcing. Compared with a single climate effect of anthropogenic or natural carbon emissions, the combined radiation forcing and the temperature change in the corresponding period had the highest consistency (30.3%).

Key words: greenhouse gases, radiative forcing, anthropogenic carbon emissions, terrestrial ecosystems, offset effect