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Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4) logo

A Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2 Observing Network in the Rocky Mountain: Understanding Drivers of Flux Variability and Optimizing Regional Observations

The goal of the project is to develop the ability to resolve carbon sources and sinks seasonally and at regional scales�?� with the aim of reducing major uncertainties in North American uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by mountain forests through a focused study of the Rocky Mountain region. This is to be accomplished by maintaining a network of accurate CO2 instruments across the Rocky Mountain West, making the data available in near real-time to the scientific community, and using these data to optimize parameters in a remote sensing driven ecosystem model. The network of CO2 measurements will be used to constrain SIPNET, a remote-sensing and climate driven ecosystem model that has been extensively parameterized and tested. The NCAR-WRF model atmospheric transport fields with the FLEXPART-WRF tracer transport model will be used to connect observations to the ecosystem model, and then a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach used to constrain key ecosystem parameters. The optimized model will be used to estimate regional fluxes at daily to annual timescales. The research will address the following research questions: (1) What are the monthly and annual-mean fluxes of CO2 between the atmosphere and regions of the U.S. Rocky Mountain West and Southwest, and how do these fluxes contribute to the North American carbon balance? (Diagnosis) (2) What do subregional, seasonal, and interannual patterns in carbon exchange in the U.S. Rocky Mountain West and Southwest imply about the influence of various land-use and climate-change drivers on ecosystems in these regions? (Attribution) (3) What do possible changes in the important land-use and climate-change drivers imply for future trends in carbon exchange in the U.S. Rocky Mountain West and Southwest? (Prediction)

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