How much CO2 is taken up by the European terrestrial biosphere?

M. Reuter*, M. Buchwitz, M. Hilker, J. Heymann, H. Bovensmann, J. P. Burr Ows, S. Houweling, Y. Y. Liu, Matthew R. Nassar, F. Chevallier, P. Ciais, J. Marshall, M. Reichstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The conventional and established estimates of the amount of carbon taken up by the European terrestrial biosphere from the Atlantic to the Urals rely on two conceptually different types of ground-based measurements. On the one hand, in situ measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentrations are globally obtained at about 100 sites on a regular basis. On the other hand, conventional bottom-up estimates of surface carbon fluxes are obtained from field measurements. Additional in situ measurement sites are needed to better constrain the surface fluxes of the northeastern part of Europe with inverse models, where the strongest uptake is expected. Field campaigns in this region, including flux and biomass measurements, can contribute to bottom-up estimates and serve as an additional anchor point for ABC satellite measurements. Regularly updated inventories and land cover classification are also essential for reliable bottom-up estimates. Likewise, reliable estimates of the flux uncertainties from bottom-up methods that should include all kinds of upscaling uncertainties and propagated measurement errors are essential. In addition to the continuation of existing satellite missions, new satellite missions are needed to provide denser and more accurate and precise measurements of the atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-671
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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