GMAO Carbon Cycle Modeling in Support of the NASA Carbon Monitoring System (CMS)

CMS banner Since the inception of NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) in 2010, GMAO has led a diverse modeling team that provides observationally-informed carbon dioxide flux and concentrations datasets to scientific and stakeholder communities. Though land and ocean sinks of carbon are estimated to absorb roughly half of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, the processes governing this drawdown are poorly understood leading to large uncertainties in climate models. NASA satellites observe variables related to ocean and land productivity and some aspects of human activity like nighttime lights, but the movement of carbon between these reservoirs cannot be directly observed.

Advanced modeling systems play a critical role in translating NASA’s Earth observations into estimates of carbon flux that can be evaluated and further refined using observations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The research supported by CMS has helped NASA build towards a unified, physically consistent carbon flux modeling system and to better understand the observational constraints placed on carbon flux by current satellite missions.

See NASA CMS page.