labs_title

Atmospheric observations and inverse modeling approaches for identifying geographical sources and sinks of carbon

A.M. Michalak

The release and uptake, a.k.a. fluxes, of carbon gases (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane) by people, the biosphere, and oceans lead to fluctuations in the concentrations of these gases at downwind locations. This review paper describes how measurements of these concentrations can be used to solve the “inverse problem” of tracing back the magnitude, as well as spatial and temporal variability, of carbon fluxes in order to gain a better understanding of the global carbon cycle and of the key processes that might affect how the carbon cycle will change in the future.


Figure: Overview of a Bayesian inverse modeling framework, bringing together (a) observations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, (b) information about the sensitivity of atmospheric CO2 concentrations to C fluxes, (c) prior information about C fluxes, and (d) understanding of the uncertainty associated with each component of the inverse problem.

Michalak, A.M. (2013) “Atmospheric observations and inverse modeling approaches for identifying geographical sources and sinks of carbon”, in Land Use and the Carbon Cycle: Advances in Integrated Science, Management, and Policy, edited by D.G. Brown, D.T. Robinson, N.H. French, and B.C. Reed, Cambridge University Press, New York, NY.