Department für Geographie




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Pongratz, Julia

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Prof. Dr.
Pongratz, Julia

El Niño impacts on land CO2 uptake

The 2015/16 El Niño was the strongest such event for several decades and was associated with a particularly strong increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. This event provided an opportunity for an array of state-of-the-art scientific techniques to be used to understand, quantify and map the cause for this surge in CO2. It also allows us to assess a possible tropical carbon tipping point -- El Niño events are often associated with anomalous droughts and high tree mortality in the Amazon. The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B organised a special issue to gather a diverse range of evidence to address this question, ranging across satellite remote sensing, field studies of vegetation processes, and global biosphere and atmospheric models. The special issue synthesises the reasons for the El Niño carbon anomaly, where it was located, and what it implies for the future stability of the tropical carbon cycle. A. Bastos and J. Pongratz from the LMU participated in this effort with a study comparing top-down and bottom-up estimates of CO2 fluxes during the El-Niño event.

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