High Northern Latitude Carbon Balance Over the 21st Century
Qian, H., Joseph, R. and Zeng, N. 2010. Enhanced terrestrial carbon uptake in the Northern High Latitudes in the 21st century from the Coupled Carbon Cycle Climate Model Intercomparison Project model projections. Global Change Biology 16: 641-656.
According to the authors, the ten C4MIP models predicted a mean warming of 5.6°C from 1901 to 2100 in the NHL; and the three researchers state that "the NHL will be a carbon sink of 0.3 ± 0.3 PgCyr-1 by 2100." They also state that "the cumulative land organic carbon storage is modeled to increase by 38 ± 20 PgC over 1901 levels, of which 17 ± 8 PgC comes from vegetation [a 43% increase] and 21 ± 16 PgC from the soil [an 8% increase]," noting that "both CO2 fertilization and warming enhance vegetation growth in the NHL." Thus, over the course of the current century, even the severe warming predicted by current climate models would likely not be a detriment to plant growth and productivity in the NHL. In fact, it would likely be a benefit, enhancing plant growth and soil organic carbon storage, which (in addition to their own virtues) would provide a significant negative feedback to global warming.
Marland, G., Boden, T.A. and Andres, R.J. 2005. Global, regional, and national CO2 emissions. In: Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. Available at http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/overview.html.