The contribution of different components to the global carbon cycle covering a recent period (2000-2005) is shown in Fig. 2.1. The stock of carbon in the atmosphere is increasing due to anthropogenic activities such as fossil fuel combustion, cement production and land-use change. The terrestrial pool has an annual uptake of carbon from the atmosphere, described as gross primary productivity (GPP), amounting to about 120 GtC; a little over half of which is returned to the atmosphere through
plant respiration, leaving 57 GtC in the terrestrial sink as net primary productivity (NPP). Fossil fuel combustion and cement production contribute about 7.2 GtC annually and land-use contributes about 1.5 GtC annually (SCOPE 2006).
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