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Anders Ahlström

Anders Ahlström

Senior lecturer

Anders Ahlström

Non-uniform seasonal warming regulates vegetation greening and atmospheric CO2 amplification over northern lands


  • Zhao Li
  • Jianyang Xia
  • Anders Ahlström
  • Annette Rinke
  • Charles Koven
  • Daniel J. Hayes
  • Duoying Ji
  • Geli Zhang
  • Gerhard Krinner
  • Guangsheng Chen
  • Wanying Cheng
  • Jinwei Dong
  • Junyi Liang
  • John C. Moore
  • Lifen Jiang
  • Liming Yan
  • Philippe Ciais
  • Shushi Peng
  • Ying Ping Wang
  • Xiangming Xiao
  • Zheng Shi
  • A. David McGuire
  • Yiqi Luo

Summary, in English

The enhanced vegetation growth by climate warming plays a pivotal role in amplifying the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2 at northern lands (>50° N) since 1960s. However, the correlation between vegetation growth, temperature and seasonal amplitude of atmospheric CO2 concentration have become elusive with the slowed increasing trend of vegetation growth and weakened temperature control on CO2 uptake since late 1990s. Here, based on in situ atmospheric CO2 concentration records from the Barrow observatory site, we found a slowdown in the increasing trend of the atmospheric CO2 amplitude from 1990s to mid-2000s. This phenomenon was associated with the paused decrease in the minimum CO2 concentration ([CO2]min), which was significantly correlated with the slowdown of vegetation greening and growing-season length extension. We then showed that both the vegetation greenness and growing-season length were positively correlated with spring but not autumn temperature over the northern lands. Furthermore, such asymmetric dependences of vegetation growth upon spring and autumn temperature cannot be captured by the state-of-art terrestrial biosphere models. These findings indicate that the responses of vegetation growth to spring and autumn warming are asymmetric, and highlight the need of improving autumn phenology in the models for predicting seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2 concentration.


  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system

Publishing year





Environmental Research Letters





Document type

Journal article


IOP Publishing


  • Physical Geography


  • asymmetric response
  • atmosphericCO amplitude
  • non-uniform seasonal warming
  • slowed down




  • ISSN: 1748-9326