Workshop Overview

Quantifying the Sources and Sinks of Atmospheric CO2

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February 28 - March 5, 2010
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91125

Can top-down estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes resolve the anthropogenic emissions of China, India, the United States, and the European Union with an accuracy of plus or minus 10% or better?

The workshop “Monitoring Exchange of Carbon Dioxide” was convened at the Keck Institute for Space Studies in Pasadena, California in February 2010 to address this question. The Workshop brought together an international, interdisciplinary group of 24 experts in carbon cycle science, remote sensing, emissions inventory estimation, and inverse modeling. The participants reviewed the potential of spacebased and sub‐orbital observational and modeling approaches to monitor anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the presence of much larger natural fluxes from the exchange of CO2 between the land, atmosphere, and ocean.

This particular challenge was motivated in part by the NRC Report “Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions” [Pacala et al., 2010]. This workshop report includes several recommendations for improvements to observing strategies and modeling frameworks for optimal and cost‐effective monitoring of carbon exchange.The study will evaluate how well current and near-term missions designed to demonstrate accurate atmospheric CO2 remote sensing (e.g. SCIAMACHY, AIRS, GOSAT, and ACCENDS) can constrain emissions and sinks of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

For questions contact: Paul Wennberg, Charles Miller or Michele Judd.


Paul Wennberg

Study Co-Lead Paul Wennberg from Caltech.

Chip Miller

Study Co-Lead Charles Miller from JPL.