RECABProject ID: EVK2-CT-1999-00034
Regional assessment and modelling of the carbon balance within europe
Total cost:EUR 2 623 900
EU contribution:EUR 1 651 500
Funding scheme:CSC - Cost-sharing contracts
Problems to be solved
The contribution of fossil fuel and biospheric sources and sinks to the rising concentration of atmospheric CO2 is not very well known at regional level. It is however subject of intense scientific and political debate in the context of the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Currently there is no European monitoring facility available to measure CO2 fluxes at the regional level, which is needed for verification purpose.
Scientific objectives and approach
The project aims to quantify the contribution of fossil fuel and biospheric sources and sinks of CO2 in Europe to the atmospheric concentration at the regional scale by using a generic, coupled biosphere atmosphere modelling and experimental approach. An experimental strategy has been developed to quantify the atmospheric carbon balance in the atmospheric boundary layer and to derive regional estimates of CO2 emissions and sinks at the regional scale within representative areas in Europe. This requires the development of a European capability of airborne measurement of surface fluxes and vertical sampling of CO2 and related tracers through flasks. Two campaigns at all sites will be carried out in the summer of 2001 and winter of 2001/2002 to have two periods of contrasting biospheric activity. In parallel surface flux measurements over the dominant vegetation types in the area, typically forest and agricultural land will be taken. Integration of experimental and modelling work is a key issue of this project. Coupled modelling tools (both forward and inverse) will be developed to assess the regional scale carbon balance of representative areas in Europe and determine the interplay of anthropogenic emissions and ecosystem behaviour. The following modelling strategy will be applied: forward modelling with high-resolution non-hydrostatic mesoscale models, and backward (inverse) modelling with a Lagrangian model. In the forward modelling strategy the Regional Atmospheric Modelling System (RAMS) will be extended to include surface based emissions of fossil fuel combustion. Existing inventory-based data will also be used, e.g. from households and transport. Coupled land surface atmosphere modelling tools (both forward and inverse) will be developed to assess the regional scale carbon balance of representative areas in Europe and determine the interplay of anthropogenic emissions and ecosystem behaviour. The models will provide aggregation and scaling up rules for individual flux measurements, knowing the land cover type and interaction with the atmosphere and will thus provide the input for inverse global models.
The project will deliver estimates of the regional sink strength of the European biosphere relevant for negotiations around the Kyoto Protocol and will contribute to the development of verification tools helping to fulfil the commitments of the EU member states.
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