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RP3 Drought News | CLEX

Don’t look to mature forests to soak up carbon dioxide emissions

Models used to project future climate change, and impacts of climate change on plants and ecosystems, currently assume that mature forests will continue to absorb carbon over and above their current levels, acting as carbon sinks. The findings from this research suggest that those sinks may in actual fact be weaker or absent for forests on low-nutrient soils.

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Research brief: Higher streamflow variability than rainfall creates challenges for hydrologic variability framework.

New research shows, contrary to expectation, the inter-annual variance in evapotranspiration is much smaller than for precipitation, runoff and soil storage. Accounting for hydrologic covariances explains why it is possible for variability in the principal sink (e.g., streamflow) to exceed variability in the source (precipitation).

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Research brief: How to incorporate increased vapour pressure deficit into climate models

With projected increases in temperature in the future, the amount of water vapour that can be held at saturation – before it condenses into clouds, dew or water film – increases exponentially. As this deficit increases plants tend to close their stomata, which reduces water fluxes into the boundary layer. Do models currently capture the observed leaf-level response to increasing vapour pressure deficit? What about at very high levels of this deficit?

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