Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published January 27, 2004 | Published
Journal Article Open

Differences between surface and column atmospheric CO_2 and implications for carbon cycle research


We used a three‐dimensional atmospheric transport model to investigate several aspects of column CO_2 that are important for the design of new satellite‐based observation systems and for the interpretation of observations collected by Sun‐viewing spectrometers. These aspects included the amplitude of the diurnal cycle and how it is related to surface fluxes, the amplitude and phase of the seasonal cycle, and the magnitude of the north‐south hemispheric gradient. In our simulation, we found that column CO_2 had less variability than surface CO_2 on all scales. The annual mean column CO_2 north‐south gradient and seasonal cycle amplitude were approximately one half of their surface counterparts and the column CO_2 diurnal amplitude rarely exceeded 1 ppm. A 1 Gt C yr^(−1) Northern Hemisphere carbon sink decreased the north‐south column CO_2 gradient by ∼0.4 ppm.

Additional Information

© 2004 American Geophysical Union. Received 9 July 2003; revised 13 October 2003; accepted 29 October 2003; published 16 January 2004. We thank Tom Conway of NOAA/CMDL for providing CO_2 data from Cape Kumukahi, Alert Bay, and Cape Grim; Peter Bakwin of NOAA/CMDL for providing the CO_2 mixing ratio data from the Park Falls tower; and Ken Davis of Penn. State U. for providing the NEE data from the Park Falls site. This work was supported by NASA MDAR (NAG5‐9462) and NSF (OPP‐0097439) grants to Randerson. NCEP Reanalysis data provided by the NOAA‐CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at http://www.cdc.noaa.gov. The Reserve Jaru CO_2 flux data were collected under the ABRACOS project and made available by the UK Institute of Hydrology and the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Brazil). Measurements of CO_2 fluxes (NEE) at the Park Falls tower were funded in part by the National Institute for Global Environmental Change of the U.S. Department of Energy through a grant to the University of Colorado. The carbon dioxide mixing ratio measurements, and site infrastructure and maintenance at the Park Falls tower, were supported by the Atmospheric Chemistry Project of the Climate and Global Change Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We thank Zhonghua Yang for column CO_2 measurements from Kitt Peak, Heping Liu and Jamie Lindfors for eddy flux measurements from Alaska, David Noone for the CCM3 model meteorological fields, and Roger Dargaville for assistance with MATCH.

Attached Files

Published - Olsen_et_al-2004-Journal_of_Geophysical_Research_3A_Atmospheres__281984-2012_29.pdf



Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 19, 2023