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Title: Detecting regional patterns of changing CO 2 flux in Alaska

With rapid changes in climate and the seasonal amplitude of carbon dioxide (CO 2) in the Arctic, it is critical that we detect and quantify the underlying processes controlling the changing amplitude of CO 2 to better predict carbon cycle feedbacks in the Arctic climate system. We use satellite and airborne observations of atmospheric CO 2 with climatically forced CO 2 flux simulations to assess the detectability of Alaskan carbon cycle signals as future warming evolves. We find that current satellite remote sensing technologies can detect changing uptake accurately during the growing season but lack sufficient cold season coverage and near-surface sensitivity to constrain annual carbon balance changes at regional scale. Airborne strategies that target regular vertical profile measurements within continental interiors are more sensitive to regional flux deeper into the cold season but currently lack sufficient spatial coverage throughout the entire cold season. Thus, the current CO 2 observing network is unlikely to detect potentially large CO 2 sources associated with deep permafrost thaw and cold season respiration expected over the next 50 y. In conclusion, although continuity of current observations is vital, strategies and technologies focused on cold season measurements (active remote sensing, aircraft, and tall towers) andmore » systematic sampling of vertical profiles across continental interiors over the full annual cycle are required to detect the onset of carbon release from thawing permafrost.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8]
  1. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.; Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Joint Inst. for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering
  2. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division
  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States). Earth System Research Lab.; Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences
  5. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States). Climate and Global Dynamics Lab.
  6. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric Science
  7. Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, NS (Canada). Dept. of Physics and Atmospheric Science
  8. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231; FC03-97ER62402; PLR-1304220
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 28; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; carbon cycle; permafrost thaw; climate; Earth system models; remote sensing
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1379513