Interannual variations in continental-scale net carbon exchange and sensitivity to observing networks estimated from atmospheric CO2 inversions for the period 1980 to 2005

Kevin R. Gurney, David Baker, Peter Rayner, Scott Denning

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73 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interannually varying net carbon exchange fluxes from the TransCom 3 Level 2 Atmospheric Inversion Intercomparison Experiment are presented for the 1980 to 2005 time period. The fluxes represent the model mean, net carbon exchange for 11 land and 11 ocean regions after subtraction of fossil fuel CO2 emissions. Both aggregated regional totals and the individual regional estimates are accompanied by a model uncertainty and model spread. We find that interannual variability is larger on the land than the ocean, with total land exchange correlated to the timing of both El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) as well as the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The post-Pinatubo negative flux anomaly is evident across much of the tropical and northern extratropical land regions. In the oceans, the tropics tend to exhibit the greatest level of interannual variability, while on land, the interannual variability is slightly greater in the tropics and northern extratropics. The interannual variation in carbon flux estimates aggregated by land and ocean across latitudinal bands remains consistent across eight different CO2 observing networks. The interannual variation in carbon flux estimates for individual flux regions remains mostly consistent across the individual observing networks. At all scales, there is considerable consistency in the interannual variations among the 13 participating model groups. Finally, consistent with other studies using different techniques, we find a considerable positive net carbon flux anomaly in the tropical land during the period of the large ENSO in 1997/1998 which is evident in the Tropical Asia, Temperate Asia, Northern African, and Southern Africa land regions. Negative anomalies are estimated for the East Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean regions. Earlier ENSO events of the 1980s are most evident in southern land positive flux anomalies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberGB3025
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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