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Carbon in, carbon out: Australia’s ‘carbon budget’ assessment reveals astonishing boom and bust cycles

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A comprehensive assessment of Australia's carbon budget from 2010 to 2019 reveals striking "boom and bust" cycles in the country's carbon balance
• This research, the most detailed of its kind, shows how Australia alternates between being a significant carbon sink and a major source of CO₂ emissions, influenced by climate variability

🔭 The context: The study used various data and models to estimate carbon sources and sinks, including land ecosystems, freshwater bodies, human activities like fossil fuel combustion, and changes in land clearing and revegetation

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Understanding these carbon dynamics is crucial for climate change mitigation
• Australia's large annual variability in non-anthropogenic carbon fluxes highlights the importance of natural CO₂ sinks in slowing climate change but also underscores the need for more reliable data and long-term monitoring

⏭️ What's next: This research emphasizes the need for a comprehensive observatory system to monitor the evolution of carbon sources and sinks
• Such data is vital for making informed decisions about using natural assets to mitigate climate change and achieving net-zero emissions targets

💬 One quote: "The large year-to-year variability of Australia’s non-anthropogenic carbon dynamics underscores the need for a comprehensive and long-term monitoring and modelling observatory system." (the authors of the study)

📈 One stat: From 2010 to 2019, Australia was a net source of 200 million tonnes of CO₂ per year, reduced to 140 million tonnes when accounting for coastal ecosystem sinks

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