On the ability of a global atmospheric inversion to constrain variations of CO2 fluxes over Amazonia


The exchanges of carbon, water, and energy between the atmosphere and the Amazon Basin have global implications for current and future climate. Here, the global atmospheric inversion system of the Monitoring of Atmospheric Composition and Climate service (MACC) was used to further study the seasonal and interannual variations of biogenic CO2 fluxes in Amazonia. The system assimilated surface measurements of atmospheric CO2 mole fractions made over more than 100 sites over the globe into an atmospheric transport model. This study added four surface stations located in tropical South America, a region poorly covered by CO2 observations. The estimates of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) optimized by the inversion were compared to independent estimates of NEE upscaled from eddy-covariance flux measurements in Amazonia, and against reports on the seasonal and interannual variations of the land sink in South America from the scientific literature. We focused on the impact of the interannual variation of the strong droughts in 2005 and 2010 (due to severe and longer-than-usual dry seasons), and of the extreme rainfall conditions registered in 2009. The spatial variations of the seasonal and interannual variability of optimized NEE were also investigated. While the inversion supported the assumption of strong spatial heterogeneity of these variations, the results revealed critical limitations that prevent global inversion frameworks from capturing the data-driven seasonal patterns of fluxes across Amazonia. In particular, it highlighted issues due to the configuration of the observation network in South America and the lack of continuity of the measurements. However, some robust patterns from the inversion seemed consistent with the abnormal moisture conditions in 2009.




Molina, L., G. Broquet, P. Imbach, F. Chevallier, Benjamin Poulter, D. Bonal, B. Burban, M. Ramonet, L. V. Gatti, S. C. Wofsy, J. W. Munger, E. Dlugokencky, and P. Ciais. "On the ability of a global atmospheric inversion to constrain variations of CO2 fluxes over Amazonia." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions 15, no. 2 (January 2015): 1915-1952. DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acpd-15-1915-2015.
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