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Title: Estimating surface CO2 fluxes from space-borne CO2 dry air mole fraction observations using an ensemble Kalman Filter
Authors: Feng, L.
Palmer, P.I.
Boesch, H.
Dance, S.
First Published: 2009
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH (Copernicus Publications) on behalf of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Citation: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2009, 9 (8), pp. 2619-2633
Abstract: We have developed an ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) to estimate 8-day regional surface fluxes of CO[subscript 2] from space-borne CO[subscript 2] dry-air mole fraction observations (X[subscript CO2]) and evaluate the approach using a series of synthetic experiments, in preparation for data from the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO). The 32-day duty cycle of OCO alternates every 16 days between nadir and glint measurements of backscattered solar radiation at short-wave infrared wavelengths. The EnKF uses an ensemble of states to represent the error covariances to estimate 8-day CO[subscript 2] surface fluxes over 144 geographical regions. We use a 12×8-day lag window, recognising that X[subscript CO2] measurements include surface flux information from prior time windows. The observation operator that relates surface CO[subscript 2] fluxes to atmospheric distributions of X[subscript CO2] includes: a) the GEOS-Chem transport model that relates surface fluxes to global 3-D distributions of CO[subscript 2] concentrations, which are sampled at the time and location of OCO measurements that are cloud-free and have aerosol optical depths <0.3; and b) scene-dependent averaging kernels that relate the CO[subscript 2] profiles to X[subscript CO2], accounting for differences between nadir and glint measurements, and the associated scene-dependent observation errors. We show that OCO X[subscript CO2] measurements significantly reduce the uncertainties of surface CO[subscript 2] flux estimates. Glint measurements are generally better at constraining ocean CO[subscript 2] flux estimates. Nadir X[subscript CO2] measurements over the terrestrial tropics are sparse throughout the year because of either clouds or smoke. Glint measurements provide the most effective constraint for estimating tropical terrestrial CO[subscript 2] fluxes by accurately sampling fresh continental outflow over neighbouring oceans. We also present results from sensitivity experiments that investigate how flux estimates change with 1) bias and unbiased errors, 2) alternative duty cycles, 3) measurement density and correlations, 4) the spatial resolution of estimated flux estimates, and 5) reducing the length of the lag window and the size of the ensemble. At the revision stage of this manuscript, the OCO instrument failed to reach its orbit after it was launched on 24 February 2009. The EnKF formulation presented here is also applicable to GOSAT measurements of CO[subscript 2] and CH[subscript 4].
DOI Link: 10.5194/acp-9-2619-2009
ISSN: 1680-7316
eISSN: 1680-7324
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © Author(s) 2009. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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