Most inverse atmospheric models report considerable uptake of carbon dioxide in Europe's terrestrial biosphere. In contrast, carbon stocks in terrestrial ecosystems increase at a much smaller rate, with carbon gains in forests and grassland soils almost being offset by carbon losses from cropland and peat soils. Accounting for non-carbon dioxide carbon transfers that are not detected by the atmospheric models and for carbon dioxide fluxes bypassing the ecosystem carbon stocks considerably reduces the gap between the small carbon-stock changes and the larger carbon dioxide uptake estimated by atmospheric models. The remaining difference could be because of missing components in the stock-change approach, as well as the large uncertainty in both methods. With the use of the corrected atmosphere- and land-based estimates as a dual constraint, we estimate a net carbon sink between 135 and 205 teragrams per year in Europe's terrestrial biosphere, the equivalent of 7 to 12% of the 1995 anthropogenic carbon emissions.
- ATMOSPHERIC CO2