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The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) tracks 2-3 peta-gram increase in carbon release to the atmosphere during the 2014-2016 El Niño

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • The powerful El Niño event of 2015–2016 – the third most intense since the 1950s – has exerted a large impact on the Earth’s natural climate system. The column-averaged CO2 dry-air mole fraction (XCO2) observations from satellites and ground-based networks are analyzed together with in situ observations for the period of September 2014 to October 2016. From the differences between satellite (OCO-2) observations and simulations using an atmospheric chemistry-transport model, we estimate that, relative to the mean annual fluxes for 2014, the most recent El Niño has contributed to an excess CO2 emission from the Earth’s surface (land + ocean) to the atmosphere in the range of 2.4 ± 0.2 PgC (1 Pg = 1015 g) over the period of July 2015 to June 2016. The excess CO2 flux is resulted primarily from reduction in vegetation uptake due to drought, and to a lesser degree from increased biomass burning. It is about the half of the CO2 flux anomaly (range: 4.4–6.7 PgC) estimated for the 1997/1998 El Niño. The annual total sink is estimated to be 3.9 ± 0.2 PgC for the assumed fossil fuel emission of 10.1 PgC. The major uncertainty in attribution arise from error in anthropogenic emission trends, satellite data and atmospheric transport.

Authors


  •   Patra, Prabir K. (external author)
  •   Crisp, David (external author)
  •   Kaiser, Johannes W. (external author)
  •   Wunch, Debra (external author)
  •   Saeki, T (external author)
  •   Ichii, Kazuhito (external author)
  •   Sekiya, Takashi (external author)
  •   Wennberg, Paul O. (external author)
  •   Feist, Dietrich G. (external author)
  •   Pollard, David F. (external author)
  •   Griffith, David W. T.
  •   Velazco, Voltaire A.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Patra, P. K., Crisp, D., Kaiser, J. W., Wunch, D., Saeki, T., Ichii, K., Sekiya, T., Wennberg, P. O., Feist, D. G., Pollard, D. F., Griffith, D. W. T., Velazco, V. A. et al (2017). The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) tracks 2-3 peta-gram increase in carbon release to the atmosphere during the 2014-2016 El Niño. Scientific Reports, 7 13567-1-13567-12.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6044&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4994

Start Page


  • 13567-1

End Page


  • 13567-12

Volume


  • 7

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • The powerful El Niño event of 2015–2016 – the third most intense since the 1950s – has exerted a large impact on the Earth’s natural climate system. The column-averaged CO2 dry-air mole fraction (XCO2) observations from satellites and ground-based networks are analyzed together with in situ observations for the period of September 2014 to October 2016. From the differences between satellite (OCO-2) observations and simulations using an atmospheric chemistry-transport model, we estimate that, relative to the mean annual fluxes for 2014, the most recent El Niño has contributed to an excess CO2 emission from the Earth’s surface (land + ocean) to the atmosphere in the range of 2.4 ± 0.2 PgC (1 Pg = 1015 g) over the period of July 2015 to June 2016. The excess CO2 flux is resulted primarily from reduction in vegetation uptake due to drought, and to a lesser degree from increased biomass burning. It is about the half of the CO2 flux anomaly (range: 4.4–6.7 PgC) estimated for the 1997/1998 El Niño. The annual total sink is estimated to be 3.9 ± 0.2 PgC for the assumed fossil fuel emission of 10.1 PgC. The major uncertainty in attribution arise from error in anthropogenic emission trends, satellite data and atmospheric transport.

Authors


  •   Patra, Prabir K. (external author)
  •   Crisp, David (external author)
  •   Kaiser, Johannes W. (external author)
  •   Wunch, Debra (external author)
  •   Saeki, T (external author)
  •   Ichii, Kazuhito (external author)
  •   Sekiya, Takashi (external author)
  •   Wennberg, Paul O. (external author)
  •   Feist, Dietrich G. (external author)
  •   Pollard, David F. (external author)
  •   Griffith, David W. T.
  •   Velazco, Voltaire A.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Patra, P. K., Crisp, D., Kaiser, J. W., Wunch, D., Saeki, T., Ichii, K., Sekiya, T., Wennberg, P. O., Feist, D. G., Pollard, D. F., Griffith, D. W. T., Velazco, V. A. et al (2017). The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) tracks 2-3 peta-gram increase in carbon release to the atmosphere during the 2014-2016 El Niño. Scientific Reports, 7 13567-1-13567-12.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6044&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4994

Start Page


  • 13567-1

End Page


  • 13567-12

Volume


  • 7

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom