Terrestrial ecosystem carbon flux estimated using GOSAT and OCO-2 XCO2 retrievals
In this study, both the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) XCO2 retrievals produced by the NASA Atmospheric CO2 Observations from Space (ACOS) project (version b7.3) are assimilated within the GEOS-Chem 4D-Var assimilation framework to constrain the terrestrial ecosystem carbon flux during 1 October 2014 to 31 December 2015. One inversion for the comparison, using in situ CO2 observations, and another inversion as a benchmark for the simulated atmospheric CO2 distributions of the real inversions, using global atmospheric CO2 trends and referred to as the poor-man inversion, are also conducted. The estimated global and regional carbon fluxes for 2015 are shown and discussed. CO2 observations from surface flask sites and XCO2 retrievals from Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) sites are used to evaluate the simulated concentrations with the posterior carbon fluxes. Globally, the terrestrial ecosystem carbon sink (excluding biomass burning emissions) estimated from GOSAT data is stronger than that inferred from OCO-2 data, weaker than the in situ inversion and matches the poor-man inversion the best. Regionally, in most regions, the land sinks inferred from GOSAT data are also stronger than those from OCO-2 data, and in North America, Asia and Europe, the carbon sinks inferred from GOSAT inversion are comparable to those from in situ inversion. For the latitudinal distribution of land sinks, the satellite-based inversions suggest a smaller boreal and tropical sink but larger temperate sinks in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere than the in situ inversion. However, OCO-2 and GOSAT generally do not agree on which continent contains the smaller or larger sinks. Evaluations using flask and TCCON observations and the comparisons with in situ and poor-man inversions suggest that only GOSAT and the in situ inversions perform better than a poor-man solution. GOSAT data can effectively improve the carbon flux estimates in the Northern Hemisphere, while OCO-2 data, with the specific version used in this study, show only slight improvement. The differences of inferred land fluxes between GOSAT and OCO-2 inversions in different regions are mainly related to the spatial coverage, the data amount and the biases of these two satellite XCO2 retrievals.