Matthew Jones

Senior Research Associate

Matt has a broad interest in the global carbon cycle and a particular focus on the roles of landscape fires and fossil fuel combustion in this cycle.

The Global Carbon Budget

Matt contributes to the Global Carbon Project (GCP). Each year, the GCP evaluates the global carbon budget by accounting for emissions of CO2 from fossil sources, deforestation and other land use changes, the uptake of CO2 by the land and oceans, and the CO2 that remains in the atmosphere.

Matt contributed to the GCP’s 2019 and 2020 assessments of the global carbon budget (Friedlingstein et al., 2019; 2020; Earth System Science Data).

Fire Emissions and Legacy Effects

Matt’s research has focussed on the legacy effects of fire on the land and aquatic carbon cycles. Historical fires influence the modern carbon budget, while present-day fires will continue to influence the carbon budget in the coming decades, centuries and even millennia. The legacy effects of fire include: the long-term uptake of carbon through vegetation recovery, which is modulated by changes in vegetation cover; associated changes in soil carbon stocks; changes in the quality of soil carbon through storage of combustion by-products such as charcoal and ash (known as as “pyrogenic carbon”); and, the export of pyrogenic carbon to oceans via rivers.

Matt recently led key studies that estimated the global-scale production of pyrogenic carbon (Jones et al., 2019, Nature Geoscience) and the export of pyrogenic carbon from land to ocean via rivers (Jones et al., 2020, Nature Communications).

Fossil Fuel Emissions

Matt recently led the development of a new gridded fossil emissions dataset (GridFED) that extends the GCP’s national estimates of CO2 emissions from (Jones et al., 2020, Scientific Data). GridFED is used in conjunction with atmospheric measurements of CO2 to mathematically derive the uptake of CO2 by the land and oceans using inverse models. GridFED helps to constrain the global carbon budget using observational data leading to key insights into the regional distribution of carbon sinks and their seasonality (Friedlingstein et al., 2020, Earth System Science Data).

Matt also contributed to recent estimates to evaluate the impact of international lockdowns during 2020, which were implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on fossil CO2 emissions (Le Quéré et al., 2020, Nature Climate Change).

Academic Background

Matt completed his PhD in Physical Geography at the University of Exeter, where his thesis evaluated the impacts of fire on the quantity and quality of carbon flowing through rivers.

He went on to research the legacy effects of fire on the land carbon cycle at Swansea University.

In 2019, Matt joined UEA’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. His work at UEA focuses on the global and regional impact of climate change on wildfires, their emissions and their legacy effects on land carbon storage. He also contributes to the Global Carbon Project, which is an international effort to account for all major emissions and sinks of carbon on an annual basis.


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Highlighted publications

Jones, M. W., Santín, C., van der Werf, G. R., & Doerr, S. (2019). Global fire emissions buffered by the production of pyrogenic carbon. Nature Geoscience.

Jones, M., Coppola, A., Santín, C., Dittmar, T., Jaffé, R., Doerr, S., & Quine, T. A. (2020). Fires prime terrestrial organic carbon for riverine export to the global oceans. Nature Communications.

Jones, M., Andrew, R.M., Peters, G., Janssens-Maenhout, G., De-Gol, A., Ciais, P., Patra., P.K., Chevallier, F. & Le Quere, C. (2020) Gridded fossil CO2 emissions and related O2 combustion consistent with national inventories 1959-2018. Scientific Data.

Le Quéré, C., Jackson, R. B., Jones, M., Smith, A., Abernethy, S., Andrew, R. M., De-Gol, A., Willis, D., Shan, Y., Canadell, J. G., Friedlingstein, P., Creutzig, F., & Peters, G. (2020). Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement. Nature Climate Change.

Friedlingstein, P., O’Sullivan, M., Jones, M., Andrew, R. M., Hauck, J., Olson, A., Peters, G., Peters, W., Pongratz, J., Sitch, S., Le Quere, C., Canadell, J. G., Ciais, P., Jackson, R. B., Alin, S., Aragão, L. E. O. C., Arneth, A., Arora, V. K., Bates, N. R., … Zaehle, S. (2020). Global Carbon Budget 2020. Earth System Science Data.


ScienceBriefs and Explainers

Jones, M. W., Smith, A. J. P., Betts, R., Canadell, J. G., Prentice, I. C., & Le Quéré, C. (2020). Climate Change Increases the Risk of Wildfires: January 2020. ScienceBrief. 

Smith, A. J. P., Jones, M. W., Abatzoglou, J. T., Canadell, J. G., & Betts, R. A. (2020). Climate Change Increases the Risk of Wildfires: September 2020. ScienceBrief.

Canadell, P., Le Quere, C., Creutzig, F., Peters, G., Jones M., Friedlingstein, P., Jackson, R.B. & Shan, Y., (2020) Coronavirus is a ‘sliding doors’ moment. What we do now could change Earth’s trajectory, The Conversation.

Canadell, P., Le Quere, C., Peters, G., Jones, M., Ciais, P., Friedlingstein, P., Andrew, R. M., & Jackson, R. B. (2020). Global emissions are down by an unprecedented 7% — but don’t start celebrating just yet. The Conversation.


In the Media

Global warming driving California wildfire trends – study

Explainer: How climate change is affecting wildfires around the world

Climate change: Australia fires will be ‘normal’ in warmer world


Bowring, Simon; Jones, Matthew; Ciais, Philippe; Guenet, Bertrand; Abiven, Samuel

Fire as carbon sink? The global biome-dependent wildfire carbon balance Journal Article

In: Nature Geoscience, 2020, ISSN: 1752-0894.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Friedlingstein, Pierre; O'Sullivan, Michael; Jones, Matthew; Andrew, Robbie M; Hauck, Judith; Olson, Are; Peters, Glen; Peters, Wouter; Pongratz, Julia; Sitch, Stephen; Quere, Corinne Le; Canadell, Josep G; Ciais, Philippe; Jackson, Robert B; Alin, Simone; ao, Luiz E O C Arag; Arneth, Almut; Arora, Vivek K; Bates, Nicholas R; Becker, Meike; Benoit-Cattin, Alice; Bittig, Henry C; Bopp, Laurent; Bultan, Selma; Chandra, Naveen; é, Fréd; Chini, Louise P; Evans, Wiley; Florentie, Liesbeth; Forster, Piers; Gasser, Thomas; Gehlen, Marion; Gilfillan, Dennis; Gkritzalis, Thanos; Gregor, Luke; Gruber, Nicolas; Harris, Ian; Hartung, Kerstin; Haverd, Vanessa; Houghton, Richard A; Ilyina, Tatiana; Jain, Atul K; Joetzjer, Emilie; Kadono, Koji; Kato, Etsushi; Kitidis, Vassilis; Korsbakken, Jan Ivar; Landschutzer, Peter; `e, Nathalie Lef; Lenton, Andrew; Lienert, Sebastian; Liu, Zhu; Lombardozzi, Danica; Marland, Gregg; Metzl, Nicolas; Munro, David R; Nabel, Julia E M S; Nakaoka, Shin-Ichiro; Niwa, Yosuke; O'Brien, Kevin M; Ono, Tsuneo; Palmer, Paul; Pierrot, Denis; Poulter, Benjamin; Resplandy, Laure; Robertson, Eddy; ö, Christian R; ö, J; Seferian, Roland; Skjelvan, Ingunn; Smith, Adam; Sutton, Adrienne J; Tanhua, Toste; Tans, Pieter P; Tian, Hanqin; Tilbrook, Bronte; van der Werf, Guido R; Vuichard, Nicolas; Walker, Anthony P; Wanninkhof, Rik; Watson, Andrew; Willis, David; Wiltshire, Andrew J; Yuan, Wenping; Yue, Xu; ö, S

Global Carbon Budget 2020 Journal Article

In: Earth System Science Data, 12 (4), pp. 3269–3340, 2020, ISSN: 1866-3516.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Canadell, Pep; Quere, Corinne Le; Peters, Glen; Jones, Matthew; Ciais, Philippe; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Andrew, Robbie M; Jackson, Robert B

Global emissions are down by an unprecedented 7% — but don't start celebrating just yet Miscellaneous



Ciais, Philippe; Bastos, Ana; é, Fréd; Lauerwald, Ronny; Poulter, Benjamin; Canadell, Pep; Hugelius, Gustaf; Jackson, Robert B; Jain, Atul K; Jones, Matthew; Kondo, Masayuki; Luijkx, Ingrid; Patra, Prabir K; Peters, Wouter; Pongratz, Julia; Petrescu, Roxana; Piao, Shilong; Qiu, Chunjing; von Randow, Celso; Regnier, Pierre; Saunois, Marielle; Scholes, Robert; Shvidenko, Anatoli; Tian, Hanqin; Yang, Hui; Wang, Xuhui; Zheng, Bo

Definitions and methods to estimate regional land carbon fluxes for the second phase of the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes Project (RECCAP-2) Journal Article

In: Geoscientific Model Development, 2020, ISSN: 1991-9603.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Smith, Adam J P; Jones, Matthew W; Abatzoglou, John T; Canadell, Josep G; Betts, Richard A

Climate Change Increases the Risk of Wildfires: September 2020 Miscellaneous


Abstract | BibTeX

Santin, Cristina; Doerr, Stefan H; Jones, Matthew W; Merino, Agustin; Warneke, Carsten; Roberts, James M

The relevance of pyrogenic carbon for carbon budgets from fires: Insights from the FIREX experiment Journal Article

In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 34 (9), 2020, ISSN: 0886-6236.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Quere, Corinne Le; Jackson, Robert B; Jones, Matthew; Smith, Adam; Abernethy, Sam; Andrew, Robbie M; De-Gol, Anthony; Willis, David; Shan, Yuli; Canadell, Josep G; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Creutzig, Felix; Peters, Glen

Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement Journal Article

In: Nature Climate Change, 10 (7), pp. 647–653, 2020, ISSN: 1758-678X.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Jones, Matthew; Coppola, Alysha; í, Cristina Sant; Dittmar, Thorsten; é, Rudolf Jaff; Doerr, Stefan; Quine, Timothy A

Fires prime terrestrial organic carbon for riverine export to the global oceans Journal Article

In: Nature Communications, 11 , 2020, ISSN: 2041-1723.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Jones, Matthew

Climate change as an enabler of wildfire Inproceedings

In: The DRIVER+ Project Report, pp. 12–17, EU H2020 Project: Driving Innovation in Crisis Management for European Resilience, 2020.

Abstract | BibTeX

Canadell, Josep G; Jackson, Robert B; Andrew, Robbie M; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Jones, Matthew; Quere, Corinne Le; Peters, Glen; Poulter, Benjamin; Saunois, Marielle; Stavert, Ann R

Global Fossil CO2 Emissions: Global Carbon Project Book Chapter

In: ü, J; Paterson, Laura; Castonguay, Sylvie (Ed.): United In Science 2020, pp. 6–7, World Meteorological Organization, 2020.


Jones, Matthew; Quere, Corinne Le

First report on EU contribution to the Global Budgets for CO2, CH4, and N2O updated annually Book

European Commission, 2020.

Abstract | BibTeX

Canadell, Pep; Quere, Corinne Le; Creutzig, Felix; Peters, Glen; Jones, Matthew; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Jackson, Robert B; Shan, Yuli

Coronavirus is a 'sliding doors' moment. What we do now could change Earth's trajectory Miscellaneous



Jones, Matthew W; Smith, Adam J P; Betts, Richard; Canadell, Josep G; Prentice, Colin I; Quéré, Corinne Le

Climate Change Increases the Risk of Wildfires: January 2020 Miscellaneous


Abstract | BibTeX


Bickerstaff, K; Lorenzoni, I; Jones, M; et al,

Locating Scientific Citizenship: The Institutional Contexts and Cultures of Public Engagement Journal Article

In: Science, Technology and Human Values, 35 , pp. 474-500, 2010.

Abstract | BibTeX


Lorenzoni, I; Turnpenny, J; Jones, M

Climate change, human genetics and post-normality in the UK Journal Article

In: Futures, 39 (1), pp. 65-82, 2007.