Title: Consistent assimilation of MERIS FAPAR and atmospheric CO2 into a terrestrial vegetation model and interactive mission benefit analysis
Authors: KAMINSKI ThomasKNORR WolfgangSCHOLZE MarkoGOBRON NadinePINTY BernardGIERING RalfMATHIEU Pierre Philippe
Citation: Biogeosciences Discussions vol. 8 no. 6 p. 10761-10795
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC67976
ISSN: 1810-6285
URI: http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/8/10761/2011/bgd-8-10761-2011.html
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC67976
DOI: 10.5194/bgd-8-10761-2011
Type: Articles in Journals
Abstract: The terrestrial biosphere is currently a strong sink for anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Through the radiative properties of CO2 the strength of this sink has a direct influence on the radiative budget of the global climate system. The accurate assessment of this sink and its evolution under a changing climate is, hence, paramount for any efficient management strategies of the terrestrial carbon sink to avoid dangerous climate change. Unfortunately, simulations of carbon and water fluxes with terrestrial biosphere models exhibit large uncertainties. A considerable fraction of this uncertainty is reflecting uncertainty in the parameter values of the process formulations within the models. This paper describes the systematic calibration of the process parameters of a terrestrial biosphere model against two observational data streams: remotely sensed FAPAR provided by the MERIS sensor and in situ measurements of atmospheric CO2 provided by the GLOBALVIEW flask sampling network. We use the Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (CCDAS) to systematically calibrate some 70 parameters of the terrestrial biosphere model BETHY. The simultaneous assimilation of all observations provides parameter estimates and uncertainty ranges that are consistent with the observational information. In a subsequent step these parameter uncertainties are propagated through the model to uncertainty ranges for predicted carbon fluxes. We demonstrate the consistent assimilation for two different set-ups: first at site-scale, where MERIS FAPAR observations at a range of sites are used as simultaneous constraints, and second at global scale, where the global MERIS FAPAR product and atmospheric CO2 are used simultaneously. On both scales the assimilation improves the match to independent observations. We quantify how MERIS data improve the accuracy of the current and future (net and gross) carbon flux estimates (within and beyond the assimilation period). We further demonstrate the use of an interactive mission benefit analysis tool built around CCDAS to support the design of future space missions. We find that, for long-term averages, the benefit of FAPAR data is most pronounced for hydrological quantities, and moderate for quantities related to carbon fluxes from ecosystems. The benefit for hydrological quantities is highest for semi-arid tropical or sub-tropical regions. Length of mission or sensor resolution is of minor importance.
JRC Institute:Institute for Environment and Sustainability

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