To assess global carbon cycle variability, we decompose the net land carbon sink into the sum of gross primary productivity (GPP), terrestrial ecosystem respiration (TER), and fire emissions and apply a Bayesian framework to constrain these fluxes between 1980 and 2014. The constrained GPP and TER fluxes show an increasing trend of only half of the prior trend simulated by models. From the optimization, we infer that TER increased in parallel with GPP from 1980 to 1990, but then stalled during the cooler periods, in 1990–1994 coincident with the Pinatubo eruption, and during the recent warming hiatus period. After each of these TER stalling periods, TER is found to increase faster than GPP, explaining a relative reduction of the net land sink. These results shed light on decadal variations of GPP and TER and suggest that they exhibit different responses to temperature anomalies over the last 35 years.
- Bayesian constraint
- GPP trend
- terrestrial ecosystem respiration