CR 54:149-165 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01105

Vegetation and land carbon projections for Wisconsin, USA, in the 21st century

Michael Notaro1,*, John W. Williams1,2, David Lorenz1

1Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison,1225 West Dayton Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
2Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 550 North Park Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA

ABSTRACT: In this sudy, a dynamic vegetation model is forced by statistically downscaled climate projections across Wisconsin for the 21st century, produced by the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts using climate output from the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The mean climate projection is substantial warming and an increase in cool-season precipitation. Drying soil leads to reduced tree cover across southern and western Wisconsin, establishing a more prairie-like environment. Along with a statewide reduction in evergreen tree cover and increase in deciduous tree cover, the tension zone shifts northward, potentially out of the state by the end of the century. Projected climate change produces a dramatic loss of terrestrial carbon, primarily from vegetation during the first half of the century and from both vegetation and soil in the second half. Carbon fertilization should partly offset this loss of carbon to the atmosphere. Projected transfers of carbon from terrestrial vegetation to the atmosphere are larger for higher-end climate-change scenarios. The land carbon projections for Wisconsin in this study have critical implications to the state’s future plans to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations through focused efforts to cut emissions.


KEY WORDS: Terrestrial carbon · Dynamic vegetation modeling · Climate change · Tension zone · Carbon fertilization · Wisconsin


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Cite this article as: Notaro M, Williams JW, Lorenz D (2012) Vegetation and land carbon projections for Wisconsin, USA, in the 21st century. Clim Res 54:149-165. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01105

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