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In the Focus

Prof Su-Jong Jeong of SUSTech’s School of Environmental Science publishes new research on intensification of terrestrial carbon cycle under greenhouse warming

Nov 27, 2017 Research

On November 22, Dr. Su-Jong Jeong, an associate professor from the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at SUSTech, published a paper entitled “Intensification of terrestrial carbon cycle related to El Niño–Southern Oscillation under greenhouse warming” in Nature Communications as a corresponding author.

The terrestrial carbon cycle is strongly influenced by El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), but how this relationship will change in the future is not clear. Here the authors use state-of-the-art earth system models to show that the sensitivity of the carbon cycle to ENSO will increase under future climate change.

The researchers find that the sensitivity of the terrestrial carbon flux to ENSO will be enhanced under greenhouse warming by 44% (±15%), indicating a future amplification of carbon–climate interactions. In a warm climate, depletion of soil moisture increases temperature response in a given ENSO event, thereby amplifying the ENSO–carbon cycle coupling. This result suggests that the ENSO-related carbon cycle will be enhanced by hydroclimate changes caused by anthropogenic forcing.

Prof. Su-Jong Jeong said, “Authors in this paper also published a paper in Nature Geoscience last July. The present study is the follow up of the previous paper in Nature Geoscience. We are currently working on a new paper about global scale assessment of wildfire-induced carbon cycle. This will be the third paper in our team.”

The first author of this paper, Jin-Soo Kim, said, “I visited SUSTech twice every summer. Because Prof. Su-Jong Jeong covered all expenses during my visits to SUSTech and he provided excellent guidance to improve my research ability, I have been able to publish two Nature series papers in Nature Geoscience and Nature Communications. I really appreciate the support from Prof. Su-Jong Jeong and SUSTech.”


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