CO2 simulation

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This page contains information about the carbon dioxide (CO2) simulation in GEOS-Chem.


The original GEOS-Chem CO2 simulation was developed by Parv Suntharalingam (Suntharalingam et al., 2003; 2004), now at the University of East Anglia. A major update to the CO2 simulation has been developed by Ray Nassar and Dylan B.A. Jones of the University of Toronto (Nassar et al., 2010). This update was delivered to the GEOS-Chem software development team at Harvard on 2010 April 1.

The update retains the original six CO2 fluxes: fossil fuel, ocean exchange, biomass burning, biofuel burning, balanced terrestrial exchange (CASA) and net annual terrestrial exchange. New inventories are available as options for some of these fluxes and other new fluxes have been added such as CO2 emissions from international shipping and aviation. There is also now an optional feature to include CO2 production from the oxidation of CO, CH4 and NMVOCs. This chemical source concept was first highlighted by Enting and Mansbridge (1991). Although a few attempts have been made by other groups in the past, this implementation will make GEOS-Chem the only 3-D global model in current use to account for the chemical production of CO2. The GEOS-Chem implementation uses an approach similar to that described in Suntharalingam et al. (2005), with some updated year-specific numbers and some other modifications described in Nassar et al. (2010).

The full GEOS-Chem CO2 update was applied to v8-02-01 (along with some patches). It is now undergoing testing and should be publicly available in the next GEOS-Chem release (v8-03-02). The model update will be accompanied by an update to the GEOS-Chem online manual. The references below are cited in the updated code's comments and online manual.

Authors and collaborators

CO2 simulation user groups

User Group Personnel Projects
University of Toronto Ray Nassar Model updates and application to inverse modeling
Korea Environment Institute (KEI)] Changsub Shim Add yours here!


The updated CO2 simulation will be incorporated into GEOS-Chem v8-03-02. In Nassar et al. (2010) model comparisons are made with GLOBALVEIW-CO2 ( and CONTRAIL (Comprehensive Observation Network for TRace gases by AIrLiner) measurements. In other work, the CO2 simulation has also been compared with aircraft observations from the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) campaigns of 2009.


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  2. Baker, D. F., et al., TransCom 3 inversion intercomparison: Impact of transport model errors on the interannual variability of regional CO2 fluxes, 1988-2003, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 20, GB1002, doi:10.1029/2004GB002439, 2006.
  3. Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres, Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001, 2009.
  4. Corbett & Koehler, Updated emissions from ocean shipping, J. Geophys. Res., 108, D20, 4650, 2003.
  5. Corbett, J. J., and H. W. Koehler, Considering alternative input parameters in an activity-based ship fuel consumption and emissions model: Reply to comment by Øyvind Endresen et al. on Updated emissions from ocean shipping, J. Geophys. Res., 109, 2004.
  6. Duncan, B. N., R. V. Martin, A. C. Staudt, R. Yevich, and J. A. Logan, Interannual and seasonal variability of biomass burning emissions constrained by satellite observations, J. Geophys. Res., 108(D2), 4100, doi:10.1029/2002JD002378, 2003.
  7. Endresen, O, et al., A historical reconstruction of ships fuel consumption and emissions, J. Geophys. Res, 112, D12301, 2007.
  8. Enting, I. G. and Mansbridge, J. V.: Latitudinal distribution of sources and sinks of CO2: results

of and inversion study, Tellus B, 43, 156–170, 1991.

  1. Kim, B. Y., et al., System for assessing Aviation's Global Emissions (SAGE) Version 1.5 global Aviation Emissions Inventories for 2000-2004, 2005.
  2. Kim, B. Y., et al., System for assessing Aviation’s Global Emissions (SAGE), Part 1: Model description and inventory results, Transportation Research, Part D 12, 325–346, 2007.
  3. Le Quere, C. et al., Trends in the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo689, 2009.
  4. Nassar, R., D. B. A. Jones, P. Suntharalingam, J. M. Chen, R. J. Andres, K. J. Wecht, R. M. Yantosca, S. S. Kualwik, K. W. Bowman, J. R. Worden, T. Machida, H. Matsueda, Modeling global atmospheric CO2 with improved emission inventories and CO2 production from the oxidation of other carbon species, Geoscientific Model Development Discussions, accepted, 2010.
  5. Olsen, S. C., and J. T. Randerson, Differences between surface and column atmospheric CO2 and implications for carbon cycle research, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D02301, doi:10.1029/2003JD003968, 2004.
  6. Potter, C. S., J. T. Randerson, C. B. Field, P. A. Matson, P. M. Vitousek, H. A. Mooney, and S. A. Klooster, Terrestrial ecosystem production: A process model based on global satellite and surface data, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 7, 811–841, 1993.
  7. Sausen, R. and U. Schumann, Estimates of the Climate Response to Aircraft CO2 and NOx Emissions Scenarios, Climate Change, 44: 27-58, 2000.
  8. Suntharalingam, P., C. M. Spivakovsky, J. A. Logan, and M. B. McElroy, Estimating the distribution of terrestrial CO2 sources and sinks from atmospheric measurements: Sensitivity to configuration of the observation network, J. Geophys. Res., 108(D15), 4452, doi:10.1029/2002JD002207, 2003.
  9. Suntharalingam, P., D. J. Jacob, P. I. Palmer, J. A. Logan, R. M. Yantosca, Y. Xiao, M. J. Evans, D. G. Streets, S. L. Vay, and G. W. Sachse, Improved quantification of Chinese carbon fluxes using CO2/CO correlations in Asian outflow, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D18S18, doi:10.1029/2003JD004362, 2004.
  10. Suntharalingam, P., J. T. Randerson, N. Krakauer, J. A. Logan, and D. J. Jacob, Influence of reduced carbon emissions and oxidation on the distribution of atmospheric CO2: Implications for inversion analyses, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 19, GB4003, doi:10.1029/2005GB002466, 2005.
  11. Takahashi, T., R. A. Feely, R. Weiss, R. H. Wanninkhof, D. W. Chipman, S. C. Sutherland, T. T. Takahashi, Global air-sea flux of CO2: an estimate based on measurements of sea-air pCO2 difference, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 94, 8292–8299, 1997.
  12. Takahashi, T., et al., Climatological mean and decadal change in surface ocean pCO2, and net sea–air CO2 flux over the global oceans, Deep-Sea Res. II, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.12.009, 2009.
  13. Wang, C., J.J. Corbett, J. Firestone, Modeling Energy Use and Emissions from North American Shipping: Application of the Ship Traffic, Energy, and Environment Model, Environ. Sci. Technol., 41, 3226-3232, 2008.
  14. Wilkersen, J.T. et al., Analysis of emission data from global commercial Aviation: 2004 and 2006, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Disc., 10, 2945-2983, 2010.
  15. Yevich, R., and J. A. Logan, An assessment of biofuel use and burning of agricultural waste in the developing world, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 17(4), 1095, doi:10.1029/2002GB001952, 2003. PDF

Known issues

Although GEOS-Chem v8-03-02 will be released with the functionality to run with monthly fossil fuel CO2 emissions from CDIAC (R.J. Andres), the inventory files most likely will not be released until a later date, such as when the paper Andres et al. (2010, in preparation) is at a sufficient stage. Until then, annually-averaged fossil fuel CO2 emissions must be selected in the input.geos file.

--Bob Y. 12:26, 29 March 2010 (EDT)

--Ray Nassar 9:47, 25 June 2010 (EDT)