Simulated variations in atmospheric CO2 over a Wisconsin forest using a coupled ecosystem-atmosphere model

A. Scott Denning, Melville Nicholls, Lara Prihodko, Ian Baker, Pier Luigi Vidale, Kenneth Davis, Peter Bakwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Ecosystem fluxes of energy, water, and CO2 result in spatial and temporal variations in atmospheric properties. In principle, these variations can be used to quantify the fluxes through inverse modelling of atmospheric transport, and can improve the understanding of processes and falsifiability of models. We investigated the influence of ecosystem fluxes on atmospheric CO2 in the vicinity of the WLEF-TV tower in Wisconsin using an ecophysiological model (Simple Biosphere, SiB2) coupled to an atmospheric model (Regional Atmospheric Modelling System). Model parameters were specified from satellite imagery and soil texture data. In a companion paper, simulated fluxes in the immediate tower vicinity have been compared to eddy covariance fluxes measured at the tower, with meteorology specified from tower sensors. Results were encouraging with respect to the ability of the model to capture observed diurnal cycles of fluxes. Here, the effects of fluxes in the tower footprint were also investigated by coupling SiB2 to a high-resolution atmospheric simulation, so that the model physiology could affect the meteorological environment. These experiments were successful in reproducing observed fluxes and concentration gradients during the day and at night, but revealed problems during transitions at sunrise and sunset that appear to be related to the canopy radiation parameterization in SiB2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1241-1250
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • General Environmental Science


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