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2018
Rodenbeck, C, Zaehle S, Keeling R, Heimann M.  2018.  History of El Nino impacts on the global carbon cycle 1957-2017: a quantification from atmospheric CO2 data. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 373   10.1098/rstb.2017.0303   AbstractWebsite

Interannual variations in the large-scale net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere were estimated for 1957-2017 from sustained measurements of atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios. As the observations are sparse in the early decades, available records were combined into a 'quasi-homogeneous' dataset based on similarity in their signals, to minimize spurious variations from beginning or ending data records. During El Nino events, CO2 is anomalously released from the tropical band, and a few months later also in the northern extratropical band. This behaviour can approximately be represented by a linear relationship of the NEE anomalies and local air temperature anomalies, with sensitivity coefficients depending on geographical location and season. The apparent climate sensitivity of global total NEE against variations in pan-tropically averaged annual air temperature slowly changed over time during the 1957-2017 period, first increasing (though less strongly than in previous studies) but then decreasing again. However, only part of this change can be attributed to actual changes in local physiological or ecosystem processes, the rest probably arising from shifts in the geographical area of dominating temperature variations. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'The impact of the 2015/2016 El Nino on the terrestrial tropical carbon cycle: patterns, mechanisms and implications'.

Resplandy, L, Keeling RF, Eddebbar Y, Brooks MK, Wang R, Bopp L, Long MC, Dunne JP, Koeve W, Oschlies A.  2018.  Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition. Nature. 563:105-108.   10.1038/s41586-018-0651-8   Abstract

The ocean is the main source of thermal inertia in the climate system1. During recent decades, ocean heat uptake has been quantified by using hydrographic temperature measurements and data from the Argo float program, which expanded its coverage after 20072,3. However, these estimates all use the same imperfect ocean dataset and share additional uncertainties resulting from sparse coverage, especially before 20074,5. Here we provide an independent estimate by using measurements of atmospheric oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2)—levels of which increase as the ocean warms and releases gases—as a whole-ocean thermometer. We show that the ocean gained 1.33 ± 0.20  × 1022 joules of heat per year between 1991 and 2016, equivalent to a planetary energy imbalance of 0.83 ± 0.11 watts per square metre of Earth’s surface. We also find that the ocean-warming effect that led to the outgassing of O2 and CO2 can be isolated from the direct effects of anthropogenic emissions and CO2 sinks. Our result—which relies on high-precision O2 measurements dating back to 19916—suggests that ocean warming is at the high end of previous estimates, with implications for policy-relevant measurements of the Earth response to climate change, such as climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases7 and the thermal component of sea-level rise8.

Betts, RA, Jones CD, Knight JR, Keeling RF, Kennedy JJ, Wiltshire AJ, Andrew RM, Aragao L.  2018.  A successful prediction of the record CO2 rise associated with the 2015/2016 El Nino. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 373   10.1098/rstb.2017.0301   AbstractWebsite

In early 2016, we predicted that the annual rise in carbon dioxide concentration at Mauna Loa would be the largest on record. Our forecast used a statistical relationship between observed and forecast sea surface temperatures in the Nino 3.4 region and the annual CO2 rise. Here, we provide a formal verification of that forecast. The observed rise of 3.4 ppm relative to 2015 was within the forecast range of 3.15 +/- 0.53 ppm, so the prediction was successful. A global terrestrial biosphere model supports the expectation that the El Nino weakened the tropical land carbon sink. We estimate that the El Nino contributed approximately 25% to the record rise in CO2, with 75% due to anthropogenic emissions. The 2015/2016 CO2 rise was greater than that following the previous large El Nino in 1997/1998, because anthropogenic emissions had increased. We had also correctly predicted that 2016 would be the first year with monthly mean CO2 above 400 ppm all year round. We now estimate that atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa would have remained above 400 ppm all year round in 2016 even if the El Nino had not occurred, contrary to our previous expectations based on a simple extrapolation of previous trends. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'The impact of the 2015/2016 El Nino on the terrestrial tropical carbon cycle: patterns, mechanisms and implications'.

Wagner, TJW, Dell RW, Eisenman I, Keeling RF, Padman L, Severinghaus JP.  2018.  Wave inhibition by sea ice enables trans-Atlantic ice rafting of debris during Heinrich events. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 495:157-163.   10.1016/j.epsl.2018.05.006   AbstractWebsite

The last glacial period was punctuated by episodes of massive iceberg calving from the Laurentide Ice Sheet, called Heinrich events, which are identified by layers of ice-rafted debris (IRD) in ocean sediment cores from the North Atlantic. The thickness of these IRD layers declines more gradually with distance from the iceberg sources than would be expected based on present-day iceberg drift and decay. Here we model icebergs as passive Lagrangian particles driven by ocean currents, winds, and sea surface temperatures. The icebergs are released in a comprehensive climate model simulation of the last glacial maximum (LGM), as well as a simulation of the modern climate. The two simulated climates result in qualitatively similar distributions of iceberg meltwater and hence debris, with the colder temperatures of the LGM having only a relatively small effect on meltwater spread. In both scenarios, meltwater flux falls off rapidly with zonal distance from the source, in contrast with the more uniform spread of IRD in sediment cores. To address this discrepancy, we propose a physical mechanism that could have prolonged the lifetime of icebergs during Heinrich events. The mechanism involves a surface layer of cold and fresh meltwater formed from, and retained around, large densely packed armadas of icebergs. This leads to wintertime sea ice formation even in relatively low latitudes. The sea ice in turn shields the icebergs from wave erosion, which is the main source of iceberg ablation. We find that sea ice could plausibly have formed around the icebergs during four months each winter. Allowing for four months of sea ice in the model results in a simulated IRD distribution which approximately agrees with the distribution of IRD in sediment cores. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Resplandy, L, Keeling RF, Rodenbeck C, Stephens BB, Khatiwala S, Rodgers KB, Long MC, Bopp L, Tans PP.  2018.  Revision of global carbon fluxes based on a reassessment of oceanic and riverine carbon transport. Nature Geoscience. 11:504-+.   10.1038/s41561-018-0151-3   AbstractWebsite

Measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration provide a tight constraint on the sum of the land and ocean sinks. This constraint has been combined with estimates of ocean carbon flux and riverine transport of carbon from land to oceans to isolate the land sink. Uncertainties in the ocean and river fluxes therefore translate into uncertainties in the land sink. Here, we introduce a heat-based constraint on the latitudinal distribution of ocean and river carbon fluxes, and reassess the partition between ocean, river and land in the tropics, and in the southern and northern extra-tropics. We show that the ocean overturning circulation and biological pump tightly link the ocean transports of heat and carbon between hemispheres. Using this coupling between heat and carbon, we derive ocean and river carbon fluxes compatible with observational constraints on heat transport. This heat-based constraint requires a 20-100% stronger ocean and river carbon transport from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere than existing estimates, and supports an upward revision of the global riverine carbon flux from 0.45 to 0.78 PgC yr(-1). These systematic biases in existing ocean/river carbon fluxes redistribute up to 40% of the carbon sink between northern, tropical and southern land ecosystems. As a consequence, the magnitude of both the southern land source and the northern land sink may have to be substantially reduced.

Graven, H, Fischer ML, Lueker T, Jeong S, Guilderson TP, Keeling RF, Bambha R, Brophy K, Callahan W, Cui X, Frankenberg C, Gurney KR, LaFranchi BW, Lehman SJ, Michelsen H, Miller JB, Newman S, Paplawsky W, Parazoo NC, Sloop C, Walker SJ.  2018.  Assessing fossil fuel CO2 emissions in California using atmospheric observations and models. Environmental Research Letters. 13   10.1088/1748-9326/aabd43   AbstractWebsite

Analysis systems incorporating atmospheric observations could provide a powerful tool for validating fossil fuel CO2 (ffCO(2)) emissions reported for individual regions, provided that fossil fuel sources can be separated from other CO2 sources or sinks and atmospheric transport can be accurately accounted for. We quantified ffCO(2) by measuring radiocarbon (C-14) in CO2, an accurate fossil-carbon tracer, at nine observation sites in California for three months in 2014-15. There is strong agreement between the measurements and ffCO(2) simulated using a high-resolution atmospheric model and a spatiotemporally-resolved fossil fuel flux estimate. Inverse estimates of total in-state ffCO(2) emissions are consistent with the California Air Resources Board's reported ffCO(2) emissions, providing tentative validation of California's reported ffCO(2) emissions in 2014-15. Continuing this prototype analysis system could provide critical independent evaluation of reported ffCO(2) emissions and emissions reductions in California, and the system could be expanded to other, more data-poor regions.

Rodenbeck, C, Zaehle S, Keeling R, Heimann M.  2018.  How does the terrestrial carbon exchange respond to inter-annual climatic variations? A quantification based on atmospheric CO2 data Biogeosciences. 15:2481-2498.   10.5194/bg-15-2481-2018   AbstractWebsite

The response of the terrestrial net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 to climate variations and trends may crucially determine the future climate trajectory. Here we directly quantify this response on inter-annual timescales by building a linear regression of inter-annual NEE anomalies against observed air temperature anomalies into an atmospheric inverse calculation based on long-term atmospheric CO2 observations. This allows us to estimate the sensitivity of NEE to inter-annual variations in temperature (seen as a climate proxy) resolved in space and with season. As this sensitivity comprises both direct temperature effects and the effects of other climate variables co-varying with temperature, we interpret it as "inter-annual climate sensitivity". We find distinct seasonal patterns of this sensitivity in the northern extratropics that are consistent with the expected seasonal responses of photosynthesis, respiration, and fire. Within uncertainties, these sensitivity patterns are consistent with independent inferences from eddy covariance data. On large spatial scales, northern extratropical and tropical interannual NEE variations inferred from the NEE-T regression are very similar to the estimates of an atmospheric inversion with explicit inter-annual degrees of freedom. The results of this study offer a way to benchmark ecosystem process models in more detail than existing effective global climate sensitivities. The results can also be used to gap-fill or extrapolate observational records or to separate inter-annual variations from longer-term trends.

Le Quere, C, Andrew RM, Friedlingstein P, Sitch S, Pongratz J, Manning AC, Korsbakken JI, Peters GP, Canadell JG, Jackson RB, Boden TA, Tans PP, Andrews OD, Arora VK, Bakker DCE, Barbero L, Becker M, Betts RA, Bopp L, Chevallier F, Chini LP, Ciais P, Cosca CE, Cross J, Currie K, Gasser T, Harris I, Hauck J, Haverd V, Houghton RA, Hunt CW, Hurtt G, Ilyina T, Jain AK, Kato E, Kautz M, Keeling RF, Goldewijk KK, Kortzinger A, Landschutzer P, Lefevre N, Lenton A, Lienert S, Lima I, Lombardozzi D, Metzl N, Millero F, Monteiro PMS, Munro DR, Nabel J, Nakaoka S, Nojiri Y, Padin XA, Peregon A, Pfeil B, Pierrot D, Poulter B, Rehder G, Reimer J, Rodenbeck C, Schwinger J, Seferian R, Skjelvan I, Stocker BD, Tian HQ, Tilbrook B, Tubiello FN, van der Laan-Luijkx IT, van der Werf GR, van Heuven S, Viovy N, Vuichard N, Walker AP, Watson AJ, Wiltshire AJ, Zaehle S, Zhu D.  2018.  Global Carbon Budget 2017. Earth System Science Data. 10:405-448.   10.5194/essd-10-405-2018   AbstractWebsite

Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere - the "global carbon budget" - is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and methodology to quantify the five major components of the global carbon budget and their uncertainties. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (E-FF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, respectively, while emissions from land-use change (E-LUC), mainly deforestation, are based on land-cover change data and bookkeeping models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (G(ATM)) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The ocean CO2 sink (S-OCEAN) and terrestrial CO2 sink (S-LAND) are estimated with global process models constrained by observations. The resulting carbon budget imbalance (B-IM), the difference between the estimated total emissions and the estimated changes in the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere, is a measure of imperfect data and understanding of the contemporary carbon cycle. All uncertainties are reported as +/- 1 sigma. For the last decade available (2007-2016), E-FF was 9.4 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), E-LUC 1.3 +/- 0.7 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) 4.7 +/- 0.1 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN 2.4 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND 3.0 +/- 0.8 GtC yr(-1), with a budget imbalance B-IM of 0.6 GtC yr(-1) indicating overestimated emissions and/or underestimated sinks. For year 2016 alone, the growth in E-FF was approximately zero and emissions remained at 9.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1). Also for 2016, E-LUC was 1.3 +/- 0.7 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) was 6.1 +/- 0.2 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN was 2.6 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND was 2.7 +/- 1.0 GtC yr(-1), with a small B-IM of 0.3 GtC. G(ATM) continued to be higher in 2016 compared to the past decade (2007-2016), reflecting in part the high fossil emissions and the small S-LAND consistent with El Nino conditions. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 402.8 +/- 0.1 ppm averaged over 2016. For 2017, preliminary data for the first 6-9 months indicate a renewed growth in E-FF of +2.0% (range of 0.8 to 3.0 %) based on national emissions projections for China, USA, and India, and projections of gross domestic product (GDP) corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the economy for the rest of the world. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new global carbon budget compared with previous publications of this data set (Le Quere et al., 2016, 2015b, a, 2014, 2013). All results presented here can be downloaded from https://doi.org/10.18160/GCP-2017 (GCP, 2017).

Stephens, BB, Long MC, Keeling RF, Kort EA, Sweeney C, Apel EC, Atlas EL, Beaton S, Bent JD, Blake NJ, Bresch JF, Casey J, Daube BC, Diao MH, Diaz E, Dierssen H, Donets V, Gao BC, Gierach M, Green R, Haag J, Hayman M, Hills AJ, Hoecker-Martinez MS, Honomichl SB, Hornbrook RS, Jensen JB, Li RR, McCubbin I, McKain K, Morgan EJ, Nolte S, Powers JG, Rainwater B, Randolph K, Reeves M, Schauffler SM, Smith K, Smith M, Stith J, Stossmeister G, Toohey DW, Watt AS.  2018.  The O-2/N-2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean Study. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 99:381-402.   10.1175/bams-d-16-0206.1   AbstractWebsite

The Southern Ocean plays a critical role in the global climate system by mediating atmosphere-ocean partitioning of heat and carbon dioxide. However, Earth system models are demonstrably deficient in the Southern Ocean, leading to large uncertainties in future air-sea CO2 flux projections under climate warming and incomplete interpretations of natural variability on interannual to geologic time scales. Here, we describe a recent aircraft observational campaign, the O-2/N-2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) study, which collected measurements over the Southern Ocean during January and February 2016. The primary research objective of the ORCAS campaign was to improve observational constraints on the seasonal exchange of atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen with the Southern Ocean. The campaign also included measurements of anthropogenic and marine biogenic reactive gases; high-resolution, hyperspectral ocean color imaging of the ocean surface; and microphysical data relevant for understanding and modeling cloud processes. In each of these components of the ORCAS project, the campaign has significantly expanded the amount of observational data available for this remote region. Ongoing research based on these observations will contribute to advancing our understanding of this climatically important system across a range of topics including carbon cycling, atmospheric chemistry and transport, and cloud physics. This article presents an overview of the scientific and methodological aspects of the ORCAS project and highlights early findings.

2017
Graven, H, Allison CE, Etheridge DM, Hammer S, Keeling RF, Levin I, Meijer HAJ, Rubino M, Tans PP, Trudinger CM, Vaughn BH, White JWC.  2017.  Compiled records of carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO2 for historical simulations in CMIP6. Geoscientific Model Development. 10:4405-4417.   10.5194/gmd-10-4405-2017   AbstractWebsite

The isotopic composition of carbon (Delta C-14 and delta C-13) in atmospheric CO2 and in oceanic and terrestrial carbon reservoirs is influenced by anthropogenic emissions and by natural carbon exchanges, which can respond to and drive changes in climate. Simulations of C-14 and C-13 in the ocean and terrestrial components of Earth system models (ESMs) present opportunities for model evaluation and for investigation of carbon cycling, including anthropogenic CO2 emissions and uptake. The use of carbon isotopes in novel evaluation of the ESMs' component ocean and terrestrial biosphere models and in new analyses of historical changes may improve predictions of future changes in the carbon cycle and climate system. We compile existing data to produce records of Delta C-14 and delta C-13 in atmospheric CO2 for the historical period 1850-2015. The primary motivation for this compilation is to provide the atmospheric boundary condition for historical simulations in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) for models simulating carbon isotopes in the ocean or terrestrial biosphere. The data may also be useful for other carbon cycle modelling activities.

Keeling, RF, Graven HD, Welp LR, Resplandy L, Bi J, Piper SC, Sun Y, Bollenbacher A, Meijer HAJ.  2017.  Atmospheric evidence for a global secular increase in carbon isotopic discrimination of land photosynthesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114:10361-10366.   10.1073/pnas.1619240114   AbstractWebsite

A decrease in the C-13/C-12 ratio of atmospheric CO2 has been documented by direct observations since 1978 and from ice core measurements since the industrial revolution. This decrease, known as the C-13-Suess effect, is driven primarily by the input of fossil fuel-derived CO2 but is also sensitive to land and ocean carbon cycling and uptake. Using updated records, we show that no plausible combination of sources and sinks of CO2 from fossil fuel, land, and oceans can explain the observed C-13-Suess effect unless an increase has occurred in the C-13/C-12 isotopic discrimination of land photosynthesis. A trend toward greater discrimination under higher CO2 levels is broadly consistent with tree ring studies over the past century, with field and chamber experiments, and with geological records of C-3 plants at times of altered atmospheric CO2, but increasing discrimination has not previously been included in studies of long-term atmospheric 13C/12C measurements. We further show that the inferred discrimination increase of 0.014 +/- 0.007% ppm(-1) is largely explained by photorespiratory and mesophyll effects. This result implies that, at the global scale, land plants have regulated their stomatal conductance so as to allow the CO2 partial pressure within stomatal cavities and their intrinsic water use efficiency to increase in nearly constant proportion to the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Verhulst, KR, Karion A, Kim J, Salameh PK, Keeling RF, Newman S, Miller J, Sloop C, Pongetti T, Rao P, Wong C, Hopkins FM, Yadav V, Weiss RF, Duren RM, Miller CE.  2017.  Carbon dioxide and methane measurements from the Los Angeles Megacity Carbon Project - Part 1: calibration, urban enhancements, and uncertainty estimates. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 17:8313-8341.   10.5194/acp-17-8313-2017   AbstractWebsite

We report continuous surface observations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from the Los Angeles (LA) Megacity Carbon Project during 2015. We devised a calibration strategy, methods for selection of background air masses, calculation of urban enhancements, and a detailed algorithm for estimating uncertainties in urban-scale CO2 and CH4 measurements. These methods are essential for understanding carbon fluxes from the LA megacity and other complex urban environments globally. We estimate background mole fractions entering LA using observations from four "extra-urban" sites including two "marine" sites located south of LA in La Jolla (LJO) and offshore on San Clemente Island (SCI), one "continental" site located in Victorville (VIC), in the high desert northeast of LA, and one "continental/mid-troposphere" site located on Mount Wilson (MWO) in the San Gabriel Mountains. We find that a local marine background can be established to within similar to 1 ppm CO2 and similar to 10 ppb CH4 using these local measurement sites. Overall, atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane levels are highly variable across Los Angeles. "Urban" and "suburban" sites show moderate to large CO2 and CH4 enhancements relative to a marine background estimate. The USC (University of Southern California) site near downtown LA exhibits median hourly enhancements of similar to 20 ppm CO2 and similar to 150 ppb CH4 during 2015 as well as similar to 15 ppm CO2 and similar to 80 ppb CH4 during mid-afternoon hours (12:00-16:00 LT, local time), which is the typical period of focus for flux inversions. The estimated measurement uncertainty is typically better than 0.1 ppm CO2 and 1 ppb CH4 based on the repeated standard gas measurements from the LA sites during the last 2 years, similar to Andrews et al. (2014). The largest component of the measurement uncertainty is due to the single-point calibration method; however, the uncertainty in the background mole fraction is much larger than the measurement uncertainty. The background uncertainty for the marine background estimate is similar to 10 and similar to 15% of the median mid-afternoon enhancement near downtown LA for CO2 and CH4, respectively. Overall, analytical and background uncertainties are small relative to the local CO2 and CH4 enhancements; however, our results suggest that reducing the uncertainty to less than 5% of the median mid-afternoon enhancement will require detailed assessment of the impact of meteorology on background conditions.

Eddebbar, YA, Long MC, Resplandy L, Rödenbeck C, Rodgers KB, Manizza M, Keeling RF.  2017.  Impacts of ENSO on air-sea oxygen exchange: Observations and mechanisms. Global Biogeochemical Cycles.   10.1002/2017GB005630   Abstract

Models and observations of atmospheric potential oxygen (APO ≃ O2 + 1.1 * CO2) are used to investigate the influence of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on air-sea O2 exchange. An atmospheric transport inversion of APO data from the Scripps flask network shows significant interannual variability in tropical APO fluxes that is positively correlated with the Niño3.4 index, indicating anomalous ocean outgassing of APO during El Niño. Hindcast simulations of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace model show similar APO sensitivity to ENSO, differing from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory model, which shows an opposite APO response. In all models, O2 accounts for most APO flux variations. Detailed analysis in CESM shows that the O2 response is driven primarily by ENSO modulation of the source and rate of equatorial upwelling, which moderates the intensity of O2 uptake due to vertical transport of low-O2 waters. These upwelling changes dominate over counteracting effects of biological productivity and thermally driven O2 exchange. During El Niño, shallower and weaker upwelling leads to anomalous O2 outgassing, whereas deeper and intensified upwelling during La Niña drives enhanced O2 uptake. This response is strongly localized along the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, leading to an equatorial zonal dipole in atmospheric anomalies of APO. This dipole is further intensified by ENSO-related changes in winds, reconciling apparently conflicting APO observations in the tropical Pacific. These findings suggest a substantial and complex response of the oceanic O2 cycle to climate variability that is significantly (>50%) underestimated in magnitude by ocean models.

Fischer, ML, Parazoo N, Brophy K, Cui XG, Jeong S, Liu JJ, Keeling R, Taylor TE, Gurney K, Oda T, Graven H.  2017.  Simulating estimation of California fossil fuel and biosphere carbon dioxide exchanges combining in situ tower and satellite column observations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 122:3653-3671.   10.1002/2016jd025617   AbstractWebsite

We report simulation experiments estimating the uncertainties in California regional fossil fuel and biosphere CO2 exchanges that might be obtained by using an atmospheric inverse modeling system driven by the combination of ground-based observations of radiocarbon and total CO2, together with column-mean CO2 observations from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2). The work includes an initial examination of statistical uncertainties in prior models for CO2 exchange, in radiocarbon-based fossil fuel CO2 measurements, in OCO-2 measurements, and in a regional atmospheric transport modeling system. Using these nominal assumptions for measurement and model uncertainties, we find that flask measurements of radiocarbon and total CO2 at 10 towers can be used to distinguish between different fossil fuel emission data products for major urban regions of California. We then show that the combination of flask and OCO-2 observations yields posterior uncertainties in monthly-mean fossil fuel emissions of similar to 5-10%, levels likely useful for policy relevant evaluation of bottom-up fossil fuel emission estimates. Similarly, we find that inversions yield uncertainties in monthly biosphere CO2 exchange of similar to 6%-12%, depending on season, providing useful information on net carbon uptake in California's forests and agricultural lands. Finally, initial sensitivity analysis suggests that obtaining the above results requires control of systematic biases below approximately 0.5ppm, placing requirements on accuracy of the atmospheric measurements, background subtraction, and atmospheric transport modeling.

2016
Resplandy, L, Keeling RF, Stephens BB, Bent JD, Jacobson A, Rodenbeck C, Khatiwala S.  2016.  Constraints on oceanic meridional heat transport from combined measurements of oxygen and carbon. Climate Dynamics. 47:3335-3357.   10.1007/s00382-016-3029-3   AbstractWebsite

Despite its importance to the climate system, the ocean meridional heat transport is still poorly quantified. We identify a strong link between the northern hemisphere deficit in atmospheric potential oxygen (APO = O + 1.1 CO) and the asymmetry in meridional heat transport between northern and southern hemispheres. The recent aircraft observations from the HIPPO campaign reveal a northern APO deficit in the tropospheric column of 10.4 1.0 per meg, double the value at the surface and more representative of large-scale air-sea fluxes. The global northward ocean heat transport asymmetry necessary to explain the observed APO deficit is about 0.7-1.1 PW, which corresponds to the upper range of estimates from hydrographic sections and atmospheric reanalyses.

Jeong, SG, Newman S, Zhang JS, Andrews AE, Bianco L, Bagley J, Cui XG, Graven H, Kim J, Salameh P, LaFranchi BW, Priest C, Campos-Pineda M, Novakovskaia E, Sloop CD, Michelsen HA, Bambha RP, Weiss RF, Keeling R, Fischer ML.  2016.  Estimating methane emissions in California's urban and rural regions using multitower observations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 121:13031-13049.   10.1002/2016jd025404   AbstractWebsite

We present an analysis of methane (CH4) emissions using atmospheric observations from 13 sites in California during June 2013 to May 2014. A hierarchical Bayesian inversion method is used to estimate CH4 emissions for spatial regions (0.3 degrees pixels for major regions) by comparing measured CH4 mixing ratios with transport model (Weather Research and Forecasting and Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport) predictions based on seasonally varying California-specific CH4 prior emission models. The transport model is assessed using a combination of meteorological and carbon monoxide (CO) measurements coupled with the gridded California Air Resources Board (CARB) CO emission inventory. The hierarchical Bayesian inversion suggests that state annual anthropogenic CH4 emissions are 2.42 +/- 0.49 Tg CH4/yr (at 95% confidence), higher (1.2-1.8 times) than the current CARB inventory (1.64 Tg CH4/yr in 2013). It should be noted that undiagnosed sources of errors or uncaptured errors in the model-measurement mismatch covariance may increase these uncertainty bounds beyond that indicated here. The CH4 emissions from the Central Valley and urban regions (San Francisco Bay and South Coast Air Basins) account for similar to 58% and 26% of the total posterior emissions, respectively. This study suggests that the livestock sector is likely the major contributor to the state total CH4 emissions, in agreement with CARB's inventory. Attribution to source sectors for subregions of California using additional trace gas species would further improve the quantification of California's CH4 emissions and mitigation efforts toward the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32).

Le Quere, C, Andrew RM, Canadell JG, Sitch S, Korsbakken JI, Peters GP, Manning AC, Boden TA, Tans PP, Houghton RA, Keeling RF, Alin S, Andrews OD, Anthoni P, Barbero L, Bopp L, Chevallier F, Chini LP, Ciais P, Currie K, Delire C, Doney SC, Friedlingstein P, Gkritzalis T, Harris I, Hauck J, Haverd V, Hoppema M, Goldewijk KK, Jain AK, Kato E, Kortzinger A, Landschutzer P, Lefevre N, Lenton A, Lienert S, Lombardozzi D, Melton JR, Metzl N, Millero F, Monteiro PMS, Munro DR, Nabel J, Nakaoka S, O'Brien K, Olsen A, Omar AM, Ono T, Pierrot D, Poulter B, Rodenbeck C, Salisbury J, Schuster U, Schwinger J, Seferian R, Skjelvan I, Stocker BD, Sutton AJ, Takahashi T, Tian HQ, Tilbrook B, van der Laan-Luijkx IT, van der Werf GR, Viovy N, Walker AP, Wiltshire AJ, Zaehle S.  2016.  Global Carbon Budget 2016. Earth System Science Data. 8:605-649.   10.5194/essd-8-605-2016   AbstractWebsite

Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere - the "global carbon budget" - is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and methodology to quantify all major components of the global carbon budget, including their uncertainties, based on the combination of a range of data, algorithms, statistics, and model estimates and their interpretation by a broad scientific community. We discuss changes compared to previous estimates and consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (E-FF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, respectively, while emissions from land-use change (E-LUC), mainly deforestation, are based on combined evidence from land-cover change data, fire activity associated with deforestation, and models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (G(ATM)) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The mean ocean CO2 sink (S-OCEAN) is based on observations from the 1990s, while the annual anomalies and trends are estimated with ocean models. The variability in S-OCEAN is evaluated with data products based on surveys of ocean CO2 measurements. The global residual terrestrial CO2 sink (S-LAND) is estimated by the difference of the other terms of the global carbon budget and compared to results of independent dynamic global vegetation models. We compare the mean land and ocean fluxes and their variability to estimates from three atmospheric inverse methods for three broad latitude bands. All uncertainties are reported as +/- 1 sigma, reflecting the current capacity to characterise the annual estimates of each component of the global carbon budget. For the last decade available (2006-2015), E-FF was 9.3 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), E-LUC 1.0 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) 4.5 +/- 0.1 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN 2.6 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND 3.1 +/- 0.9 GtC yr(-1). For year 2015 alone, the growth in E-FF was approximately zero and emissions remained at 9.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), showing a slowdown in growth of these emissions compared to the average growth of 1.8% yr(-1) that took place during 2006-2015. Also, for 2015, E-LUC was 1.3 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) was 6.3 +/- 0.2 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN was 3.0 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND was 1.9 +/- 0.9 GtC yr(-1). G(ATM) was higher in 2015 compared to the past decade (2006-2015), reflecting a smaller S-LAND for that year. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 399.4 +/- 0.1 ppm averaged over 2015. For 2016, preliminary data indicate the continuation of low growth in E-FF with +0.2% (range of -1.0 to +1.8 %) based on national emissions projections for China and USA, and projections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the economy for the rest of the world. In spite of the low growth of E-FF in 2016, the growth rate in atmospheric CO2 concentration is expected to be relatively high because of the persistence of the smaller residual terrestrial sink (S-LAND) in response to El Nino conditions of 2015-2016. From this projection of E-FF and assumed constant E-LUC for 2016, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach 565 +/- 55 GtC (2075 +/- 205 GtCO(2)) for 1870-2016, about 75% from E-FF and 25% from E-LUC. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this data set (Le Quere et al., 2015b, a, 2014, 2013). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi: 10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2016).

Welp, LR, Patra PK, Rodenbeck C, Nemani R, Bi J, Piper SC, Keeling RF.  2016.  Increasing summer net CO2 uptake in high northern ecosystems inferred from atmospheric inversions and comparisons to remote-sensing NDVI. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:9047-9066.   10.5194/acp-16-9047-2016   AbstractWebsite

Warmer temperatures and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last several decades have been credited with increasing vegetation activity and photosynthetic uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere in the high northern latitude ecosystems: the boreal forest and arctic tundra. At the same time, soils in the region have been warming, permafrost is melting, fire frequency and severity are increasing, and some regions of the boreal forest are showing signs of stress due to drought or insect disturbance. The recent trends in net carbon balance of these ecosystems, across heterogeneous disturbance patterns, and the future implications of these changes are unclear. Here, we examine CO2 fluxes from northern boreal and tundra regions from 1985 to 2012, estimated from two atmospheric inversions (RIGC and Jena). Both used measured atmospheric CO2 concentrations and wind fields from interannually variable climate reanalysis. In the arctic zone, the latitude region above 60 degrees N excluding Europe (10 degrees W-63 degrees E), neither inversion finds a significant long-term trend in annual CO2 balance. The boreal zone, the latitude region from approximately 50-60 degrees N, again excluding Europe, showed a trend of 8-11 Tg C yr(-2) over the common period of validity from 1986 to 2006, resulting in an annual CO2 sink in 2006 that was 170-230 Tg C yr(-1) larger than in 1986. This trend appears to continue through 2012 in the Jena inversion as well. In both latitudinal zones, the seasonal amplitude of monthly CO2 fluxes increased due to increased uptake in summer, and in the arctic zone also due to increased fall CO2 release. These findings suggest that the boreal zone has been maintaining and likely increasing CO2 sink strength over this period, despite browning trends in some regions and changes in fire frequency and land use. Meanwhile, the arctic zone shows that increased summer CO2 uptake, consistent with strong greening trends, is offset by increased fall CO2 release, resulting in a net neutral trend in annual fluxes. The inversion fluxes from the arctic and boreal zones covering the permafrost regions showed no indication of a large-scale positive climate-carbon feedback caused by warming temperatures on high northern latitude terrestrial CO2 fluxes from 1985 to 2012.

Newman, S, Xu XM, Gurney KR, Hsu YK, Li KF, Jiang X, Keeling R, Feng S, O'Keefe D, Patarasuk R, Wong KW, Rao P, Fischer ML, Yung YL.  2016.  Toward consistency between trends in bottom-up CO2 emissions and top-down atmospheric measurements in the Los Angeles megacity. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:3843-3863. AbstractWebsite

Large urban emissions of greenhouse gases result in large atmospheric enhancements relative to background that are easily measured. Using CO2 mole fractions and delta C-14 and delta C-13 values of CO2 in the Los Angeles megacity observed in inland Pasadena (2006-2013) and coastal Palos Verdes peninsula (autumn 2009-2013), we have determined time series for CO2 contributions from fossil fuel combustion (C-ff) for both sites and broken those down into contributions from petroleum and/or gasoline and natural gas burning for Pasadena. We find a 10 % reduction in Pasadena C-ff during the Great Recession of 2008-2010, which is consistent with the bottom-up inventory determined by the California Air Resources Board. The isotopic variations and total atmospheric CO2 from our observations are used to infer seasonality of natural gas and petroleum combustion. The trend of CO2 contributions to the atmosphere from natural gas combustion is out of phase with the seasonal cycle of total natural gas combustion seasonal patterns in bottom-up inventories but is consistent with the seasonality of natural gas usage by the area's electricity generating power plants. For petroleum, the inferred seasonality of CO2 contributions from burning petroleum is delayed by several months relative to usage indicated by statewide gasoline taxes. Using the high-resolution Hestia-LA data product to compare C-ff from parts of the basin sampled by winds at different times of year, we find that variations in observed fossil fuel CO2 reflect seasonal variations in wind direction. The seasonality of the local CO2 excess from fossil fuel combustion along the coast, on Palos Verdes peninsula, is higher in autumn and winter than spring and summer, almost completely out of phase with that from Pasadena, also because of the annual variations of winds in the region. Variations in fossil fuel CO2 signals are consistent with sampling the bottom-up Hestia-LA fossil CO2 emissions product for sub-city source regions in the LA megacity domain when wind directions are considered.

Nevison, CD, Manizza M, Keeling RF, Stephens BB, Bent JD, Dunne J, Ilyina T, Long M, Resplandy L, Tjiputra J, Yukimoto S.  2016.  Evaluating CMIP5 ocean biogeochemistry and Southern Ocean carbon uptake using atmospheric potential oxygen: Present-day performance and future projection. Geophysical Research Letters. 43:2077-2085.   10.1002/2015gl067584   AbstractWebsite

Observed seasonal cycles in atmospheric potential oxygen (APO similar to O-2+1.1 CO2) were used to evaluate eight ocean biogeochemistry models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Model APO seasonal cycles were computed from the CMIP5 air-sea O-2 and CO2 fluxes and compared to observations at three Southern Hemisphere monitoring sites. Four of the models captured either the observed APO seasonal amplitude or phasing relatively well, while the other four did not. Many models had an unrealistic seasonal phasing or amplitude of the CO2 flux, which in turn influenced APO. By 2100 under RCP8.5, the models projected little change in the O-2 component of APO but large changes in the seasonality of the CO2 component associated with ocean acidification. The models with poorer performance on present-day APO tended to project larger net carbon uptake in the Southern Ocean, both today and in 2100.

Petrenko, VV, Severinghaus JP, Schaefer H, Smith AM, Kuhl T, Baggenstos D, Hua Q, Brook EJ, Rose P, Kulin R, Bauska T, Harth C, Buizert C, Orsi A, Emanuele G, Lee JE, Brailsford G, Keeling R, Weiss RF.  2016.  Measurements of 14C in ancient ice from Taylor Glacier, Antarctica constrain in situ cosmogenic 14CH4 and 14CO production rates. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 177:62-77.   10.1016/j.gca.2016.01.004   Abstract

Carbon-14 (14C) is incorporated into glacial ice by trapping of atmospheric gases as well as direct near-surface in situ cosmogenic production. 14C of trapped methane (14CH4) is a powerful tracer for past CH4 emissions from “old” carbon sources such as permafrost and marine CH4 clathrates. 14C in trapped carbon dioxide (14CO2) can be used for absolute dating of ice cores. In situ produced cosmogenic 14C in carbon monoxide (14CO) can potentially be used to reconstruct the past cosmic ray flux and past solar activity. Unfortunately, the trapped atmospheric and in situ cosmogenic components of 14C in glacial ice are difficult to disentangle and a thorough understanding of the in situ cosmogenic component is needed in order to extract useful information from ice core 14C. We analyzed very large (≈1000 kg) ice samples in the 2.26–19.53 m depth range from the ablation zone of Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, to study in situ cosmogenic production of 14CH4 and 14CO. All sampled ice is >50 ka in age, allowing for the assumption that most of the measured 14C originates from recent in situ cosmogenic production as ancient ice is brought to the surface via ablation. Our results place the first constraints on cosmogenic 14CH4 production rates and improve on prior estimates of 14CO production rates in ice. We find a constant 14CH4/14CO production ratio (0.0076 ± 0.0003) for samples deeper than 3 m, which allows the use of 14CO for correcting the 14CH4 signals for the in situ cosmogenic component. Our results also provide the first unambiguous confirmation of 14C production by fast muons in a natural setting (ice or rock) and suggest that the 14C production rates in ice commonly used in the literature may be too high.

Forkel, M, Carvalhais N, Rodenbeck C, Keeling R, Heimann M, Thonicke K, Zaehle S, Reichstein M.  2016.  Enhanced seasonal CO2 exchange caused by amplified plant productivity in northern ecosystems. Science. 351:696-699.   10.1126/science.aac4971   AbstractWebsite

Atmospheric monitoring of high northern latitudes (above 40 degrees N) has shown an enhanced seasonal cycle of carbon dioxide (CO2) since the 1960s, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. The much stronger increase in high latitudes relative to low ones suggests that northern ecosystems are experiencing large changes in vegetation and carbon cycle dynamics. We found that the latitudinal gradient of the increasing CO2 amplitude is mainly driven by positive trends in photosynthetic carbon uptake caused by recent climate change and mediated by changing vegetation cover in northern ecosystems. Our results underscore the importance of climate-vegetation-carbon cycle feedbacks at high latitudes; moreover, they indicate that in recent decades, photosynthetic carbon uptake has reacted much more strongly to warming than have carbon release processes.

2015
Le Quere, C, Moriarty R, Andrew RM, Canadell JG, Sitch S, Korsbakken JI, Friedlingstein P, Peters GP, Andres RJ, Boden TA, Houghton RA, House JI, Keeling RF, Tans P, Arneth A, Bakker DCE, Barbero L, Bopp L, Chang J, Chevallier F, Chini LP, Ciais P, Fader M, Feely RA, Gkritzalis T, Harris I, Hauck J, Ilyina T, Jain AK, Kato E, Kitidis V, Goldewijk KK, Koven C, Landschutzer P, Lauvset SK, Lefevre N, Lenton A, Lima ID, Metzl N, Millero F, Munro DR, Murata A, Nabel J, Nakaoka S, Nojiri Y, O'Brien K, Olsen A, Ono T, Perez FF, Pfeil B, Pierrot D, Poulter B, Rehder G, Rodenbeck C, Saito S, Schuster U, Schwinger J, Seferian R, Steinhoff T, Stocker BD, Sutton AJ, Takahashi T, Tilbrook B, van der Laan-Luijkx IT, van der Werf GR, van Heuven S, Vandemark D, Viovy N, Wiltshire A, Zaehle S, Zeng N.  2015.  Global Carbon Budget 2015. Earth System Science Data. 7:349-396.   10.5194/essd-7-349-2015   AbstractWebsite

Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and a methodology to quantify all major components of the global carbon budget, including their uncertainties, based on the combination of a range of data, algorithms, statistics, and model estimates and their interpretation by a broad scientific community. We discuss changes compared to previous estimates as well as consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (E-FF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, while emissions from land-use change (E-LUC), mainly deforestation, are based on combined evidence from land-cover-change data, fire activity associated with deforestation, and models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (G(ATM)) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The mean ocean CO2 sink (S-OCEAN) is based on observations from the 1990s, while the annual anomalies and trends are estimated with ocean models. The variability in S-OCEAN is evaluated with data products based on surveys of ocean CO2 measurements. The global residual terrestrial CO2 sink (S-LAND) is estimated by the difference of the other terms of the global carbon budget and compared to results of independent dynamic global vegetation models forced by observed climate, CO2, and land-cover change (some including nitrogen-carbon interactions). We compare the mean land and ocean fluxes and their variability to estimates from three atmospheric inverse methods for three broad latitude bands. All uncertainties are reported as +/- 1 sigma, reflecting the current capacity to characterise the annual estimates of each component of the global carbon budget. For the last decade available (20052014), E-FF was 9.0 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1) E-LUC was 0.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), GATM was 4.4 +/- 0.1 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN was 2.6 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S LAND was 3.0 +/- 0.8 GtC yr(-1). For the year 2014 alone, E FF grew to 9.8 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), 0.6% above 2013, continuing the growth trend in these emissions, albeit at a slower rate compared to the average growth of 2.2% yr(-1) that took place during 2005-2014. Also, for 2014, E-LUC was 1.1 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) was 3.9 +/- 0.2 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN was 2.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND was 4.1 +/- 0.9 GtC yr(-1). G(ATM) was lower in 2014 compared to the past decade (2005-2014), reflecting a larger S-LAND for that year. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 397.15 +/- 0.10 ppm averaged over 2014. For 2015, preliminary data indicate that the growth in E-FF will be near or slightly below zero, with a projection of 0.6 [ range of 1.6 to C 0.5] %, based on national emissions projections for China and the USA, and projections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the global economy for the rest of the world. From this projection of E-FF and assumed constant E LUC for 2015, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach about 555 +/- 55 GtC (2035 +/- 205 GtCO(2)) for 1870-2015, about 75% from E FF and 25% from E LUC. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this data set (Le Quere et al., 2015, 2014, 2013). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi: 10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2015).

Rafelski, LE, Paplawsky B, Keeling RF.  2015.  Continuous measurements of dissolved O-2 and oxygen isotopes in the Southern California coastal ocean. Marine Chemistry. 174:94-102.   10.1016/j.marchem.2015.05.011   AbstractWebsite

Dissolved O-2/N-2, O-2/Ar, O-2 saturation and delta O-18 were measured continuously near the surface ocean at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography pier in La Jolla, California, for five weeks. The data showed diurnal cycles, in O-2 and delta O-18, with amplitudes of 19 mmol m(-3) and 1.1%., respectively. The diurnal cycles are well described by a box model that includes photosynthesis, respiration, air-sea gas exchange, and mixing. The timing of the cycles can be explained using a photosynthesis rate proportional to photosynthetically active radiation, and the shapes of the cycles can be explained by mixing with a subsurface layer of water that is supersaturated in O-2. Based on the diurnal cycles in O-2 and delta O-18, the average maximum daily photosynthesis rate was 3.7-4.7 mmol O-2 m(-3) h(-1), which is supported by the light-saturated photosynthesis rate estimated from the measured chlorophyll concentration. In the future, these continuous measurement techniques could be used at different locations and depths to improve the understanding of variability in oceanic primary production. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lucas, DD, Yver Kwok C, Cameron-Smith P, Graven H, Bergmann D, Guilderson TP, Weiss R, Keeling R.  2015.  Designing optimal greenhouse gas observing networks that consider performance and cost. Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst.. 4:121-137.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/gi-4-121-2015   AbstractWebsite
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