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Journal article

Evaluation of various observing systems for the global monitoring of CO_{2} surface fluxes

Hungershoefer K, Breon F, Peylin P, Chevallier F, Rayner P, Klonecki A, Houweling S, Marshall J...(+8 more)

Atmos. Chem. Phys., vol. 10 (2010) pp. 10503-10520

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Abstract

In the context of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and the potential
feedbacks between climate and the carbon cycle, there is an urgent
need to monitor the exchanges of carbon between the atmosphere and
both the ocean and the land surfaces. In the so-called top-down approach,
the surface fluxes of CO2 are inverted from the observed spatial
and temporal concentration gradients. The concentrations of CO2 are
measured in-situ at a number of surface stations unevenly distributed
over the Earth while several satellite missions may be used to provide
a dense and better-distributed set of observations to complement
this network. In this paper, we compare the ability of different
CO2 concentration observing systems to constrain surface fluxes.
The various systems are based on realistic scenarios of sampling
and precision for satellite and in-situ measurements. It is shown
that satellite measurements based on the differential absorption
technique (such as those of SCIAMACHY, GOSAT or OCO) provide more
information than the thermal infrared observations (such as those
of AIRS or IASI). The OCO observations will provide significantly
better information than those of GOSAT. A CO2 monitoring mission
based on an active (lidar) technique could potentially provide an
even better constraint. This constraint can also be realized with
the very dense surface network that could be built with the same
funding as that of the active satellite mission. Despite the large
uncertainty reductions on the surface fluxes that may be expected
from these various observing systems, these reductions are still
insufficient to reach the highly demanding requirements for the monitoring
of anthropogenic emissions of CO2 or the oceanic fluxes at a spatial
scale smaller than that of oceanic basins. The scientific objective
of these observing system should therefore focus on the fluxes linked
to vegetation and land ecosystem dynamics.

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