EGU23-3228, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The contemporary Amazon Forest carbon budget 

Thais M. Rosan1, Stephen Sitch1, Michael O’Sullivan1, Christopher Wilson2, Luana S. Basso3,4, Dominic Fawcett1, Viola A. Heinrich1, Jefferson G. Souza1, Celso von Randow4, Lina M. Mercado1, Emanuel Gloor3, Luciana Gatti4, Pierre Friedlingstein1, Andy Wiltshire5, Julia Pongratz6, Clemens Schwingshackl6, Luiz E.O.C. Aragão4, and the TRENDY-v11 Team*
Thais M. Rosan et al.
  • 1Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK. (
  • 2School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK
  • 3School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 4National Institute for Space Research - INPE, Brazil
  • 5Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, UK
  • 6Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat München (LMU), Germany
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

The Amazon is the largest continuous tropical forest in the world and plays a key role in the global carbon cycle. Human-induced disturbances (e.g., deforestation and wildfires) in combination with climate change have impacted its carbon cycling. However, uncertainties remain on the magnitude of carbon fluxes associated with human-induced disturbances and the old-growth forest sink, and thus the net land carbon balance of the Amazon. Here we synthesize state-of-the-art estimates of the land carbon flux components in the Amazon. To quantify the human-disturbance fluxes from deforestation, land use and land cover changes and degradation, we use a set of bookkeeping models. The annual intact sink was quantified using a set of 16 Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs). We then combine the carbon flux estimates from disturbances with the intact sink estimates to provide a bottom-up estimate of the net land carbon flux and compare them alongside top-down estimates from atmospheric model inversions. Between 2010 and 2018, the net land carbon flux in the Brazilian Amazon estimated with the bottom-up approach was -59 (±160) Tg C yr-1 and +36 (±125) Tg C yr-1 with the top-down approach. Despite disagreeing on the sign of the flux, this analysis suggests that the Brazilian Amazon was on average near carbon neutral over the 2010-2018 period, given the large uncertainties underlying both methods. The net land carbon fluxes for the years 2019 and 2020 based on the bottom-up approach were larger than for 2010-2018. This is likely primarily due to direct emissions related to an increase in deforestation although it may possibly be partly caused by a weakening of the forest carbon sink, both in response to deforestation and a warming climate. Spatially, both methodologies agree that the south-eastern Amazon was a net carbon source over the whole study period. These results have important implications for the mitigation potential of Brazilian ecosystems within the goals of the Paris Agreement. 


TRENDY-v11 Team:

Matthew Williams, Luke Smallman, Jürgen Knauer, Vivek Arora, Daniel Kennedy, Hanqin Tian, Wenping Yuan, Atul Jain, Stefanie Falk, Almuth Arnet, Benjamin Poulter, Peter Anthoni, Qing Sun, Sönke Zaehle, Anthony Walker, Etsushi Kato, Xu Yue

How to cite: Rosan, T. M., Sitch, S., O’Sullivan, M., Wilson, C., Basso, L. S., Fawcett, D., Heinrich, V. A., Souza, J. G., von Randow, C., Mercado, L. M., Gloor, E., Gatti, L., Friedlingstein, P., Wiltshire, A., Pongratz, J., Schwingshackl, C., and Aragão, L. E. O. C. and the TRENDY-v11 Team: The contemporary Amazon Forest carbon budget , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3228,, 2023.