Albedo-Induced Global Warming Potential Following Disturbances in Global Temperate and Boreal Forests

53 Pages Posted: 2 May 2023

See all articles by qingsong Zhu

qingsong Zhu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jiquan Chen

Michigan State University

Charles P.-A. Bourque

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Oliver Sonnentag

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas L. O'Halloran

Clemson University

Leonardo Montagnani

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Russell L. Scott

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeremy Forsythe

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bo Song

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Huimin Zou

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Meihui Duan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Xianglan Li

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Forest disturbance can result in very different canopies that carry elevated albedo, thus causing substantial cooling effects on the climate. Unfortunately, the resulting dynamic global warming potential from altered albedo (GWPΔα) following disturbances is poorly understood. We examined and modeled the changes in albedo with year after disturbances (i.e., forest age) by forest type, disturbance type and geographic location using the direct measurements at 107 FLUXNET sites in temperate and boreal region. Albedo in undisturbed neighboring forests was used as the reference to calculate albedo changes (Δα) and GWPΔα after a disturbance. We found that stand age was a significant factor for predicting albedo admit the obvious regulations from forest type and geographic locations. We found that the strongest cooling GWPΔα in the first 10 years after disturbance while it increases rapidly with the recovery of canopy. The changes in GWPΔα after disturbances were also very different from the chronosequence of net ecosystem production (NEP). In the first decade after disturbances, GWPΔα was negative (i.e., cooling) and surprisingly larger in magnitude with an average of -0.609 kg CO2 m−2 yr−1, compared to NEP of -0.166 kg CO2 m−2 yr−1. Albedo continued decreasing to pre-disturbance levels until about 50 years, resulting in a nearly-zero GWPΔα. This study illustrated global forests of <10 years old can be considered as major cooling agents due to elevated albedo. Our results call for reassessment of total GWP from terrestrial ecosystems where GWPΔα had not been thoroughly quantified, especially given the facts that a large portion of lands is under various degrees of disturbances, especially from human uses.

Keywords: albedo, global warming potential, chronosequence, forest age, Disturbance

Suggested Citation

Zhu, qingsong and Chen, Jiquan and Bourque, Charles P.-A. and Sonnentag, Oliver and O'Halloran, Thomas L. and Montagnani, Leonardo and Scott, Russell L. and Forsythe, Jeremy and Song, Bo and Zou, Huimin and Duan, Meihui and Li, Xianglan, Albedo-Induced Global Warming Potential Following Disturbances in Global Temperate and Boreal Forests. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4435283 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4435283

Qingsong Zhu

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Jiquan Chen

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

Charles P.-A. Bourque

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Oliver Sonnentag

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Thomas L. O'Halloran

Clemson University ( email )

Leonardo Montagnani

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano ( email )

Russell L. Scott

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Jeremy Forsythe

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Bo Song

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Huimin Zou

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Meihui Duan

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Xianglan Li (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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