Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences
November 2016

Human Footprint Affects US Carbon Balance More Than Climate Change


The MC2 model projects an overall increase in carbon capture in conterminous United States during the 21st century while also simulating a rise in fire causing much carbon loss. Carbon sequestration in soils is critical to prevent carbon losses from future disturbances, and we show that natural ecosystems store more carbon belowground than managed systems do. Natural and human-caused disturbances affect soil processes that shape ecosystem recovery and competitive interactions between native, exotics, and climate refugees. Tomorrow's carbon budgets will depend on how land use, natural disturbances, and climate variability will interact and affect the balance between carbon capture and release.


D. Bachelet, K. Ferschweiler, T. Sheehan, B. Baker, B. Sleeter and Z. Zhu, Human Footprint Affects US Carbon Balance More Than Climate Change, In Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Elsevier, 2017, ISBN 9780124095489,

Full Article
CBI Authors & Contributors
Dominique Bachelet, Ph.D.
Senior Climate Change Scientist, Team Lead- Global Change
Ecological Modeler, Team Lead- Decision Support & GIS
Senior Software Architect | Modeler
Barry Baker, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
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