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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Tropical and Boreal Forest Atmosphere Interactions: A Review

Artaxo, Paulo; Hansson, Hans-Christen; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Back, Jaana; Alves, Eliane Gomes; Barbosa, Henrique M. J.; Bender, Frida; Bourtsoukidis, Efstratios; Carbone, Samara; Chi, Jinshu; Decesari, Stefano; Despres, Viviane R.; Ditas, Florian; Ezhova, Ekaterina; Fuzzi, Sandro; Hasselquist, Niles J.; Heintzenberg, Jost; Holanda, Bruna A.; Guenther, Alex; Hakola, Hannele;
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This review presents how the boreal and the tropical forests affect the atmosphere, its chemical composition, its function, and further how that affects the climate and, in return, the ecosystems through feedback processes. Observations from key tower sites standing out due to their long-term comprehensive observations: The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory in Central Amazonia, the Zotino Tall Tower Observatory in Siberia, and the Station to Measure Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations at Hyytiala in Finland. The review is complemented by short-term observations from networks and large experiments.The review discusses atmospheric chemistry observations, aerosol formation and processing, physiochemical aerosol, and cloud condensation nuclei properties and finds surprising similarities and important differences in the two ecosystems. The aerosol concentrations and chemistry are similar, particularly concerning the main chemical components, both dominated by an organic fraction, while the boreal ecosystem has generally higher concentrations of inorganics, due to higher influence of long-range transported air pollution. The emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds are dominated by isoprene and monoterpene in the tropical and boreal regions, respectively, being the main precursors of the organic aerosol fraction.Observations and modeling studies show that climate change and deforestation affect the ecosystems such that the carbon and hydrological cycles in Amazonia are changing to carbon neutrality and affect precipitation downwind. In Africa, the tropical forests are so far maintaining their carbon sink.It is urgent to better understand the interaction between these major ecosystems, the atmosphere, and climate, which calls for more observation sites, providing long-term data on water, carbon, and other biogeochemical cycles. This is essential in finding a sustainable balance between forest preservation and reforestation versus a potential increase in food production and biofuels, which are critical in maintaining ecosystem services and global climate stability. Reducing global warming and deforestation is vital for tropical forests.


Boreal forests; Tropical forests; Amazonia; biogenic emissions: fires; biomass burning; aerosol particles; climate effects

Published in

Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology
2022, volume: 74, number: 1, pages: 24-163

Authors' information

Artaxo, Paulo
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Hansson, Hans-Christen
Stockholm University
Andreae, Meinrat O.
Max Planck Society
Andreae, Meinrat O.
University of California San Diego
Back, Jaana
University of Helsinki
Alves, Eliane Gomes
Max Planck Society
Barbosa, Henrique M. J.
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Bender, Frida
Stockholm University
Bourtsoukidis, Efstratios
Max Planck Society
Chi, Jinshu
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Decesari, Stefano
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Despres, Viviane R.
Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Ditas, Florian
Max Planck Society
Ezhova, Ekaterina
University of Helsinki
Fuzzi, Sandro
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Hasselquist, Niles
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Heintzenberg, Jost
Leibniz Institut fur Tropospharenforschung (TROPOS)
Holanda, Bruna A.
Max Planck Society
Guenther, Alex
University of California Irvine
Hakola, Hannele
Finnish Meteorological Institute
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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land
SDG13 Climate action

UKÄ Subject classification

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Forest Science

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