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Keywords:

  • biogeochemical cycles;
  • human activity;
  • land use

[1] The coupled global carbon and water cycles are influenced by multiple factors of human activity such as fossil-fuel emissions and land use change. We used the LPJmL Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (DGVM) to quantify the potential influences of human demography, diet, and land allocation, and compare these to the effects of fossil-fuel emissions and corresponding climate change. For this purpose, we generate 12 land use patterns in which these factors are analyzed in a comparative static setting, providing information on their relative importance and the range of potential impacts on the terrestrial carbon and water balance. We show that these aspects of human interference are equally important to climate change and historic fossil-fuel emissions for global carbon stocks but less important for net primary production (NPP). Demand for agricultural area and thus the magnitude of impacts on the carbon and water cycles are mainly determined by constraints on localizing agricultural production and modulated by total demand for agricultural products.