Terrestrial Gross Carbon Dioxide Uptake: Global Distribution and Covariation with Climate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) is the largest global CO2 flux driving several ecosystem functions. We provide an observation-based estimate of this flux at 123 +/- 8 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year(-1)) using eddy covariance flux data and various diagnostic models. Tropical forests and savannahs account for 60%. GPP over 40% of the vegetated land is associated with precipitation. State-of-the-art process-oriented biosphere models used for climate predictions exhibit a large between-model variation of GPP's latitudinal patterns and show higher spatial correlations between GPP and precipitation, suggesting the existence of missing processes or feedback mechanisms which attenuate the vegetation response to climate. Our estimates of spatially distributed GPP and its covariation with climate can help improve coupled climate-carbon cycle process models.


  • Christian Beer
  • Markus Reichstein
  • Enrico Tomelleri
  • Philippe Ciais
  • Martin Jung
  • Nuno Carvalhais
  • Christian Roedenbeck
  • M. Altaf Arain
  • Dennis Baldocchi
  • Gordon B. Bonan
  • Alberte Bondeau
  • Alessandro Cescatti
  • Gitta Lasslop
  • Mark Lomas
  • Sebastiaan Luyssaert
  • Hank Margolis
  • Keith W. Oleson
  • Olivier Roupsard
  • Elmar Veenendaal
  • Nicolas Viovy
  • Christopher Williams
  • F. Ian Woodward
  • Dario Papale
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Geography
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-838
Issue number5993
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch