Carbon Assimilation and Modelling of the European Land Surfaces


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The CAMELS consortium consists of teams with expertise in the terrestrial carbon cycle and climate change, with complementary knowledge of observations and modelling. There is a history of fruitful collaborative links between the partners. Some are already involved in the CarboEurope cluster of projects (already EC funded) and so will have first access to the data and understanding which emerges. The modelling groups are collectively involved in multilateral projects and international  programmes (such as the IGBP-GAIMC4MIP, GEWEX-GLASS, PILPS). This mixture of backgrounds and approaches is a vitally important element of CAMELS, being necessary to meet the motivating objectives, and providing a critical mass for the development of innovative science.

Following are partners and their role within the consortium:
  1. Met Office, Hadley Centre, UK (Met Office)
  2. Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de lEnvironement  (LSCE=CEA+CNRS)
  3. Max-Planck Institute of Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany (MPI-BGC)
  4. ALTERRA, the Netherlands
  5. University of Tuscia, Department of Forest Science and Resource, Italy (UNITUS)
  6. European Forest Institute, Finland (EFI)
  7. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK (NERC)
  8. Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Met Office, Hadley Centre, UK (Met Office)

This institute will coordinate the project using the structure outlined in section C5. The Met Office is familiar with taking a leading role in policyrelevant international scientific programmes (e.g. IPCC). The key personnel involved in CAMELS have a record of  innovation in land-surface modelling (e.g. development of the TRIFFID DGVM) and its applications (e.g. climate-carbon cycle GCM experiments). Aside from coordination, the Met Office will lead workpackage 4 (Development of a carbon cycle data assimilation system), utilising in house expertise on data assimilation in Numerical Weather Prediction  models. It will also make significant contributions to workpackages 2 and 3, applying its land-surface models. As coordinating partner it will be responsible for project administration and the maintenance of the project website.

Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de lEnvironement  (LSCE=CEA+CNRS)

This group will lead workpackage 3 (Modelling the 20th Century Land Carbon Balance). LSCE are amongst the first two institutes to develop a coupled-climate carbon cycle GCM (the Met Office is the other). They have very strong involvement in CARBOEUROPE, including a coordination role in the TACOS infrastructure project. LSCE has recognised expertise in inverse modelling of the carbon cycle as well as forward modelling. They will also be heavily involved in workpackages 2 and 4, carrying-out simulations with their own terrestrial ecosystem models.

Max-Planck Institute of Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany (MPI-BGC)

This institute is globally renowned for biogeochemistry, containing some of the foremost researchers in both modelling and observations. The particular participants in CAMELS have unique expertise in the assimilation of atmospheric CO2 measurements and remote-sensing data into their terrestrial ecosystem model (BETHY). They also have strong links to the GCM modelling community in Hamburg. MPI-BGC will lead workpackage 2 (Model Validation and Uncertainty Analysis), and apply its models and assimilation schemes in workpackages 3 and 4. MPI-BGC will also manage the subcontract with FastOpt .

ALTERRA, the Netherlands

This institute was founded on 1st January 2000, as a merger between the Staring Centre for Integrated Land-Soil and Water Research, the Institute of Forestry and Nature Research and part of the Research Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility. As such, it contains expertise of great relevance to CAMELS, especially in the measurement and modelling of fluxes of heat, water and CO2 at the land-atmosphere interface. Alterra will lead Workpackage 1 (Data Harmonisation and Consolidation) in close collaboration with EFI (partner 6). It will utilise its central role in the CARBOEUROPE cluster of EC projects to ensure access to the most relevant data and process-knowledge.

University of Tuscia, Department of Forest Science and Resource, Italy (UNITUS)

This group has expertise in carbon, energy and water cycling, ecosystem modelling and  remote sensing. They have taken a leading role in managing international projects such as EUROFLUX (EC funded) and FLUXNET (NASA funded). UNITUS will contribute to workpackage 1 using their expertise of flux measurements to select and quality control the site-specific flux data. Riccardo Valentini of UNITUS leads CAMELS workpackage 5 on dissemination, where he will provide a vital link to policy makers and the CARBOEUROPE cluster. This group will also partipate in the data assimilation exercise (WP4).

European Forest Institute, Finland (EFI)

EFI provide information to policy and decision-makers in European countries on the forest and forest industry sector. EFI has compiled a comprehensive set of forest inventory data from more that 30 European counties. It is continuously in the process of updating its inventory database. The inventory data have been utilised in its European Forest Information Scenario Model (EFISCEN). EFI will collect and prepare inventory data as required for the project and provide maps of European forest carbon stocks as part of work package 1 (for validation of the TEMs in workpackages 3 and 4). The forest inventory approach will also be applied by EFI  in workpackages 2, 3 and 4, where it will be used to assess the impacts of forest management on carbon uptake.

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK (NERC)

This institute (formally known as the Institute of Hydrology) is recognised as one of the worlds leading research organisations on the natural environment. The participating personnel have a long record of collaboration with other partners on field campaigns (e.g. CARBOEUROFLUX) and modelling (especially with the Met Office). They will contribute to workpackages 2 and 4, applying new techniques to estimate parameter uncertainty.

Joint Research Centre (JRC)

The STARS group at the  Joint Research Centre at (JRC) will provide remote-sensing products for use in WP4. STARS (Science and Technology for Applied Remote Sensing) is a group within the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES), an institute with the mission to provide scientific and technical support to EU strategies for the protection of the environment and sustainable development. STARS scientists, engineers and technicians are experts in the remote-sensing of terrestrial environments, and in particular on the biospheric aspects of climate changes. STARS will be an assistant contractor to Met Office, tasked to:
  • Deliver multiple years of the fraction of absorbed photosynthnthetically active radiation (fAPAR) for Europe at 2km resolution, with  defined accuracy and geo-coded, starting October 1997.
  • Deliver a shorter period of global fAPAR fields with accuracies, spatially sub-sampled and geo-coded to the same grid as the European product.
  • Process a number of selected scenes of approximately 300km by 300km size from the MISR muti-angular sensor, currently flying on-board  NASA's EOS platform, for in-depth investigation of areas of specific interest (eddy-flux study sites, or areas with dense data coverage regarding carbon stocks or forest inventory data).
  • Deliver algorithms for the derivation of additional biophysical products from multi-angular remote sensing measurements; the products should be relevant for carbon cycle assessment, for example stand density, or canopy structural parameters.