PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CARBON TRACKER SYSTEM IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Yu Woon Jang, Il-Soo Park, Sang-Sub Ha, Su-Hwan Jang, Kyung-Won Chung, Gangwoong Lee, Won-Ho Kim, Yong-Joo Choi, Cheon-ho Cho

Abstract

The Carbon Tracker system will play a major role in understanding CO2 sinks and sources, gas exchange between the atmosphere and oceans, and gas emissions from forest fires and fossil fuels in Latin America and the Caribbean. This paper discusses the trends in carbon fluxes in the biosphere and ocean, as well as emissions from forest fires and fossil fuel use in the above-mentioned region, using the Carbon Tracker (CT) system. From 2000 to 2009, the mean carbon fluxes for the biosphere, fossil fuel use, wildfires and the ocean in Latin America and the Caribbean were –0.03, 0.41, 0.296, –0.061 Pg C/yr, respectively, and –0.02, 0.117, 0.013, –0.003 Pg C/yr, respectively, in Mexico. The mean net carbon flux for Latin America and the Caribbean was 0.645 Pg C/yr, and 0.126 Pg C/yr for Mexico. The terrestrial sinks in Latin America and the Caribbean are dominated by the forest, agricultural, grass and shrub regions, as well as the Andes Mountains,and the net surface-atmosphere fluxes including fossil fuel are dominant in regions around large cities in Mexico,Brazil, Chile, and areas undergoing deforestation along the Amazon River. The results confirm that forest fires are an important source of CO2 in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, we can confirm that policies encouraging the use of ethanol in light vehicles in Brazil have helped to decrease carbon emissions from fossil fuel, and assume the effects of the Proárbol program on carbon sinks from the biosphere and from fire emissionssources in Mexico. Based on this analysis, we are confident that the CT system will play a major role in Latin America and the Caribbean as a scientific tool to understand the uptake and release of CO2 from terrestrial ecosystems, fossil fuel use and the oceans, and for long-term monitoring of atmospheric CO2concentrations.

Keywords

Carbon Tracker system, CO2 sinks and sources, Latin America and the Caribbean, biosphere, fossil fuel, forest fires

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