CO2 Budget and Rectification Airborne study (COBRA): Airborne measurements of regional to continental fluxes of CO and CO2

Steven Wofsy, Christoph Gerbig, John Lin, Bruce Daube, Irene Xueref, and Arlyn Andrews

Co-Investigators: Tony Grainger (University of North Dakota), Ralph F. Keeling and Britton B. Stephens (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Pieter Tans and Peter S. Bakwin (Climate Monitoring and Diagnostic Laboratory, NOAA)

Addressing the Missing Scale of Measurements

A knowledge gap currently exists in carbon cycle science at the regional and continental scales. Process and ecosystem-level studies involving techniques such as eddy correlation provide detailed information about carbon exchange by a patch of forest.  Inverse studies couple marine boundary-layer observations and atmospheric transport models to yield carbon fluxes at global or hemispheric scales, but have not succeeded at continental scales due to lack of data over continents and uncertainties in transport modeling.  COBRA atmospheric observations are intended to advance global carbon cycle studies by helping to bridge this gap, addressing this missing scale of measurements.