Component 4: Integration of Scales and Carbon Data Assimilation Methods ("Continental Scale Integration")

The Continental Integration Componentrelies on the data streams collected by the other Components of the IP, including syntheses of existing data, and it is expected to provide guidance on how to fill in gaps in the current Observing System and help design optimal observation strategies in the future. This integration can only be achieved by means of a numerical modelling framework that bridges across scales going from process-studies up to the continental budget. In this framework, diverse approaches of top-down, bottom-up, sectorial, process based and extrapolation techniques have to be employed, compared for consistency and ultimately merged in a most comprehensive way.

In order to produce a best estimate of carbon uptake and its uncertainty, we need to make use of all of the constraints implied by the different data streams, as well as the physiological and ecological constraints embodied in the process-based Terrestrial Ecosystem Models (TEMs). In other words, we need to simultaneously use the observations to constrain the internal parameters of the TEMs, whilst using the TEMs to interpolate the observations to produce useful large-scale estimates of the carbon sink and its causes. This is essentially a Data Assimilation problem, requiring a system similar to those used to initialise and constrain weather forecast models with observations.

Using this approach, we expect to reduce the uncertainty in estimates of the present carbon balance to 10 to 20% or better for Western Europe . The specific objectives are as follows:

To develop advanced modelling tools for estimating the spatially explicit continental carbon balance and its variability at a resolution of 10 to 50 km for at least the length of a Commitment Period (MO1, 2, 4, 7, 8).

Means to achieve objective (Activities 4.3, 4.4, 4.5):

To test a multiple constraint approach by applying top down, bottom up and data assimilation methodologies to achieve the best possible estimate of the European carbon balance, its uncertainty and to determine the spatio-temporal variation in biospheric and anthropogenic fluxes over Europe (MO2).

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updated by Yvonne Hofmann,