14th Symposium on Global Change and Climate Variations


Toward a Comprehensive Carbon Budget for North America: Potential Applications of Adjoint Methods with Diverse Datasets

Arlyn Andrews, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD

A detailed mechanistic understanding of the sources and sinks of CO2 will be required to reliably predict future CO2 levels and climate. A commonly used technique for deriving information about CO2 exchange with surface reservoirs is to solve an "inverse problem", where CO2 observations are used with an atmospheric transport model to find the optimal distribution of sources and sinks. Synthesis inversion methods are powerful tools for addressing this question, but the results are disturbingly sensitive to the details of the calculation. Studies done using different atmospheric transport models and combinations of surface station data have produced substantially different distributions of surface fluxes. Adjoint methods are now being developed that will more effectively incorporate diverse datasets in estimates of surface fluxes of CO2. In an adjoint framework, it will be possible to combine CO2 concentration data from longterm surface monitoring stations with data from intensive field campaigns and with proposed future satellite observations. A major advantage of the adjoint approach is that meteorological and surface data, as well as data for other atmospheric constituents and pollutants can be efficiently included in addition to observations of CO2 mixing ratios. This presentation will provide an overview of potentially useful surface, aircraft, and satellite datasets for carbon cycle research in general, with an emphasis on planning for the North American Carbon Project. Areas of overlap with ongoing and proposed work on air quality/air pollution issues will be highlighted.

Session 1, State of the Science: The Role of the Carbon Cycle in the Earth System
Monday, 10 February 2003, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

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