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Modeling and analysis of the spatiotemporal variability of terrestrial and oceanic carbon fluxes

Principal Investigator(s): 


Using a combined model-data approach, the proposed research seeks to understand the interannual to interdecadal variations of the observed atmospheric carbon dioxide in the 20th century, and the underlying global structure of carbon sources and sinks both over land and ocean, thus providing a basis for understanding the fate of anthropogenic carbon dioxide and future climate projections. Specifically, we will use a coupled atmosphere-land-ocean carbon model forced by climate reanalysis datasets that represent the best possible observations given data limitation, as well as observations of land cover change, atmospheric carbon dioxide and anthropogenic emission data. We will then analyze the spatiotemporal variability of carbon sources and sinks in order to understand how this variability is related to large-scale climate variability and how it gives rise to the aggregated atmospheric carbon dioxide variability. Sensitivity studies will be conducted to understand the mechanisms of these changes and to delineate the relative roles of natural versus anthropogenic effects. Various aspects of the model will be multiply constrained using observations such as NDVI, ocean color and pCO2 data.