Spatial data on the water cost of carbon capture

by Marta Yebra (ANU)

New spatial time series of vegetation water use and carbon uptake show the water cost of carbon uptake globally at 5 km resolution.

Global estimates of vegetation water use (transpiration) and carbon uptake through photosynthesis (GPP) are needed for a better understanding of the capacity of ecosystems to convert water and CO2 into biomass. This knowledge can help manage ecosystems for mitigation and adaptation to global change. In a recent paper, we developed a simple method to derive consistent estimates of plant water use and carbon uptake at global scale. It does so by using satellite estimates of the biophysical property that explicitly couples both CO2 and water fluxes, the canopy conductance. We previously published a method to estimate this canopy conductance from remote sensing.

The global estimates of monthly transpiration, gross primary production and water use efficiency for 2000-2012 at 0.05° resolution (~5 km) derived from MODIS remote sensing and global meteororological data are available for users via this link.

For more information contact Marta Yebra


Figures below: Average annual leaf-level water use efficiency (g C kg H2O-1), gross primary production GPP (g C m2 y1), and transpiration (mm per year) for the period 2000–2013 as estimated by the new method.




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