The terrestrial biosphere is a key component of the global carbon cycle and its carbon balance is strongly influenced by climate. Continuing environmental changes are thought to increase global terrestrial carbon uptake. But evidence is mounting that climate extremes such as droughts or storms can lead to a decrease in regional ecosystem carbon stocks and therefore have the potential to negate an expected increase in terrestrial carbon uptake. Here we explore the mechanisms and impacts of climate extremes on the terrestrial carbon cycle, and propose a pathway to improve our understanding of present and future impacts of climate extremes on the terrestrial carbon budget.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
Issue number7462
Early online date14 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2013


  • precipitation manipulation experiments
  • agricultural soil-erosion
  • Europe-wide reduction
  • tree mortality
  • United-States
  • grassland productivity
  • fire emissions
  • dioxide uptake
  • crop damage
  • ice storms


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