A3 Foresight Program CarboEastAsia

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Carbon and water cycles in terrestrial ecosystems are a function of many driving environmental factors such as solar radiation, temperature, precipitation and carbon dioxide. Therefore, any change in these factors is likely to affect carbon cycle, and thus variability in carbon budget for a specific ecosystem can be indicative of environmental and climate change. Terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia cover large land area and represent many vegetation types including boreal forests, temperate forests, tropical forests, grassland, deserts, and crop fields extending from the Arctic to equator. They play a critical role in global carbon cycle. On the other hand, the East Asia is a region that is experiencing rapid economy growth. Due to intensive land use and large population pressure, carbon cycle of the terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia has undergone dramatic changes over past several decades, leading to potentially significant influences on global climate change. In addition, it is speculated that change in land use pattern and management practices (e.g. reforestation, forestation, conversion of farmland into grassland or vise versa) may enhance or offset the global warming. Therefore, knowledge of the carbon dynamics of the terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia is essential to advance our understanding of global carbon and water budgets and prediction of the impacts of climate change.