NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
The 2015-2016 El Nino and the Response of the Carbon Cycle: Findings from NASA's OCO-2 MissionThe El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important mode of tropical climate variability on interannual to decadal time scales. Correlations between atmospheric CO2 growth rate and ENSO activity are relatively well known but the magnitude of this correlation, the contribution from tropical marine vs. terrestrial flux components, and the causal mechanisms, are poorly constrained in space and time. The launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission in July 2014 was rather timely given the development of strong ENSO conditions over the tropical Pacific Ocean in 2015-2016. In this presentation, we will discuss how the high-density observations from OCO-2 provided us with a novel dataset to resolve the linkages between El Nino and atmospheric CO2. Along with information from in situ observations of CO2 from NOAA's Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) project and atmospheric CO2 from the Scripps CO2 Program, and other remote-sensing missions, we are able to piece together the time dependent response of atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the Tropics. Our findings confirm the hypothesis from studies following the 1997-1998 El Nino event that an early reduction in CO2 outgassing from the tropical Pacific Ocean is later reversed by enhanced net CO2 emissions from the terrestrial biosphere. This implies that a component of the interannual variability (IAV) in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2, which has typically been used to constrain the climate sensitivity of tropical land carbon fluxes, is strongly influenced and modified by ocean fluxes during the early phase of the ENSO event. Our analyses shed further light on the understanding of the marine vs. terrestrial partitioning of tropical carbon fluxes during El Nino events, their relative contributions to the global atmospheric CO2 growth rate, and provide clues about the sensitivity of the carbon cycle to climate forcing on interannual time scales.
Document ID
20180003401
Document Type
Presentation
Authors
Chatterjee, Abhishek
(Universities Space Research Association Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Gierach, M.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Feely, R.
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Washington, DC, United States)
Sutton, A.
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Washington, DC, United States)
Landschutzer, P.
(Max-Planck-Inst. fuer Meteorologie Hamburg, Germany)
Crisp, D.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Eldering, A.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Gunson, M.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Keeling, R.
(Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, CA, United States)
Stephens, B.
(National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, United States)
Schimel, David
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
June 4, 2018
Publication Date
March 14, 2018
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
GSFC-E-DAA-TN53953
Meeting Information
Meeting: SOLAS Workshop on Remote Sensing for Studying the Ocean-Atmosphere Interface
Location: Potomac, MD
Country: United States
Start Date: March 13, 2018
End Date: March 15, 2018
Sponsors: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNG11HP16A
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNN12AA01C
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Use by or on behalf of the US Gov. Permitted.
Keywords
OCO-2
ENSO
CO2
No Preview Available