Biogeophysical effects of CO2 fertilization on global climate

G. Bala, K. Caldeira, A. Mirin, M. Wickett, C. Delire, T. J. Phillips
2006 Tellus: Series B, Chemical and Physical Meteorology  
A B S T R A C T CO 2 fertilization affects plant growth, which modifies surface physical properties, altering the surface albedo, and fluxes of sensible and latent heat. We investigate how such CO 2 -fertilization effects on vegetation and surface properties would affect the climate system. Using a global three-dimensional climate-carbon model that simulates vegetation dynamics, we compare two multicentury simulations: a 'Control' simulation with no emissions and a 'Physiol-noGHG' simulation
more » ... oGHG' simulation where physiological changes occur as a result of prescribed CO 2 emissions, but where CO 2 -induced greenhouse warming is not included. In our simulations, CO 2 fertilization produces warming; we obtain an annual-and global-mean warming of about 0.65 K (and land-only warming of 1.4 K) after 430 yr. This century-scale warming is mostly due to a decreased surface albedo associated with the expansion of the Northern Hemisphere boreal forests. On decadal timescales, the CO 2 uptake by afforestation should produce a cooling effect that exceeds this albedo-based warming; but if the forests remain in place, the CO 2 -enhanced-greenhouse effect would diminish as the ocean equilibrates with the atmosphere, whereas the albedo effect would persist. Thus, on century timescales, there is the prospect for net warming from CO 2 fertilization of the land biosphere. Further study is needed to confirm and better quantify our results.
doi:10.1111/j.1600-0889.2006.00210.x fatcat:un77sv42rnbrhgecmaszdh3bde