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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 14
Biogeosciences, 14, 3401-3429, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-3401-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Data assimilation in carbon/biogeochemical cycles: consistent...

Biogeosciences, 14, 3401-3429, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-3401-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Reviews and syntheses 19 Jul 2017

Reviews and syntheses | 19 Jul 2017

Reviews and syntheses: Systematic Earth observations for use in terrestrial carbon cycle data assimilation systems

Marko Scholze1, Michael Buchwitz2, Wouter Dorigo3, Luis Guanter4, and Shaun Quegan5 Marko Scholze et al.
  • 1Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 2Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 3Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Vienna, Austria
  • 4Remote Sensing Section, German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ), 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 5Centre for Terrestrial Carbon Dynamics, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK

Abstract. The global carbon cycle is an important component of the Earth system and it interacts with the hydrology, energy and nutrient cycles as well as ecosystem dynamics. A better understanding of the global carbon cycle is required for improved projections of climate change including corresponding changes in water and food resources and for the verification of measures to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. An improved understanding of the carbon cycle can be achieved by data assimilation systems, which integrate observations relevant to the carbon cycle into coupled carbon, water, energy and nutrient models. Hence, the ingredients for such systems are a carbon cycle model, an algorithm for the assimilation and systematic and well error-characterised observations relevant to the carbon cycle. Relevant observations for assimilation include various in situ measurements in the atmosphere (e.g. concentrations of CO2 and other gases) and on land (e.g. fluxes of carbon water and energy, carbon stocks) as well as remote sensing observations (e.g. atmospheric composition, vegetation and surface properties).

We briefly review the different existing data assimilation techniques and contrast them to model benchmarking and evaluation efforts (which also rely on observations). A common requirement for all assimilation techniques is a full description of the observational data properties. Uncertainty estimates of the observations are as important as the observations themselves because they similarly determine the outcome of such assimilation systems. Hence, this article reviews the requirements of data assimilation systems on observations and provides a non-exhaustive overview of current observations and their uncertainties for use in terrestrial carbon cycle data assimilation. We report on progress since the review of model-data synthesis in terrestrial carbon observations by Raupach et al.(2005), emphasising the rapid advance in relevant space-based observations.

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This paper briefly reviews data assimilation techniques in carbon cycle data assimilation and the requirements of data assimilation systems on observations. We provide a non-exhaustive overview of current observations and their uncertainties for use in terrestrial carbon cycle data assimilation, focussing on relevant space-based observations.
This paper briefly reviews data assimilation techniques in carbon cycle data assimilation and...
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