Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2017-34
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Model description paper
21 Feb 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
Assimilating solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence into the terrestrial biosphere model BETHY-SCOPE: Model description and information content
Alexander J. Norton1, Peter J. Rayner1, Ernest N. Koffi2, and Marko Scholze3 1School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia
2European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
3Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sweden
Abstract. The synthesis of model and observational information using data assimilation can improve our understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle, a key component of the Earth's climate-carbon system. Here we provide a data assimilation framework for combining observations of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) and a process-based model to improve estimates of terrestrial carbon uptake, or gross primary production (GPP). We then quantify and assess the constraint SIF provides on the uncertainty of global GPP through model process parameters in an error propagation study. By incorporating one year of satellite SIF observations from the GOSAT satellite, we find that the uncertainty in global annual GPP is reduced by 79 %, from ±13.0 Pg C yr−1 to ±2.8 Pg C yr−1. This improvement is achieved through strong constraint of leaf growth processes and weak to moderate constraint of physiological parameters. We also find that the inclusion of uncertainty in shortwave down radiation forcing has a net-zero effect on uncertainty in GPP when incorporated in the SIF assimilation framework. This study demonstrates the powerful capacity of SIF to reduce uncertainties in process-based model estimates of GPP and the potential for improving our predictive capability of this uncertain carbon flux.

Citation: Norton, A. J., Rayner, P. J., Koffi, E. N., and Scholze, M.: Assimilating solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence into the terrestrial biosphere model BETHY-SCOPE: Model description and information content, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2017-34, in review, 2017.
Alexander J. Norton et al.
Alexander J. Norton et al.
Alexander J. Norton et al.

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Short summary
It is difficult to estimate how much CO2 plants absorb via photosynthesis and even more difficult to model this for the whole globe. Here, we present a framework to combine a new satellite measurement "solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence" with a global photosynthesis model. We then quantify how this new measurement constrains model uncertainties and find effective constraint. These results pave a novel pathway for improving estimates and modeling abilities of photosynthesis globally.
It is difficult to estimate how much CO2 plants absorb via photosynthesis and even more...
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