National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2009

Carbon cycle observations: Gaps threaten climate mitigation policies

Birdsey, R., N. Bates, M. Behrenfeld, K. Davis, S. Doney, R.A. Feely, D.A. Hansell, L.S. Heath, E. Kasischke, H. Kheshgi, B.E. Law, C. Lee, A.D. McGuire, P. Raymond, and C.J. Tucker

Eos Trans. AGU, 90(34), 292–293, doi: 10.1029/2009EO340005 (2009)

Successful management of carbon dioxide (CO2) requires robust and sustained carbon cycle observations. Yet key elements of a national observation network are lacking or at risk. A U.S. National Research Council review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program earlier this year highlighted the critical need for a U.S. climate observing system to meet requirements of mitigation policies for improved carbon cycle observations. This Forum highlights the most significant gaps and threats to carbon cycle observations—including observations from satellites; in situ observations of land, ocean, and aquatic systems; and direct atmospheric measurements—and suggests ways to improve the U.S. national effort.

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