A Global Scale Inversion of the Transport of CO2 Based on a Matrix Representation of an Atmospheric Transport Model Derived by Its Adjoint

  • Thomas Kaminski
  • Martin Heimann
  • Ralf Giering
Part of the NATO • Challenges of Modern Society book series (NATS, volume 22)


The atmosphere contains a number of radiatively and chemically important trace gases (a. o. carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4)) whose concentrations are changing in the atmosphere, primarily due to human activities. These changing concentrations affect the radiative balance of our atmosphere and may thus lead to climate change. In order to compute reliable projections of the future evolution of the concentrations of these gases their natural and anthropogenic sources and sinks have to be known. Using a direct approach one can extrapolate locally measured fluxes to the entire globe. Because of the many necessary assumptions in the extrapolation, this direct approach, however, is subject to very large uncertainties. In contrast, one can apply an inverse approach, in which ambient observations of the atmospheric trace gas concentrations are used to constrain the surface fluxes. This requires a model of the atmospheric transport which provides the link between the surface fluxes and the concentrations at the monitoring sites.


Surface Flux Ocean General Circulation Model Source Component Flux Component Adjoint Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Kaminski
    • 1
  • Martin Heimann
    • 1
  • Ralf Giering
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institut für MeteorologieHamburgGermany

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