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CHE, a Coordination and Support Action, is bringing together European expertise and a consolidated approach to building an operational anthropogenic CO2 emission monitoring support capacity. CHE partners are at the forefront of developments in the compilation of emission inventories, the observation of the carbon cycle from ground-based and satellite measurements, the process modelling of the carbon cycle, atmospheric transport modelling, and data assimilation and inversion systems. There will be four main areas of work covering: observations, emission inventories, modelling and inversion systems.

The central questions that CHE will address are:

  • What does it take to have a combined bottom-up and top-down estimation system capable of distinguishing the anthropogenic part of the CO2 budget from the natural fluxes?
  • How can we make the first steps towards such a system that can use the high spatial and temporal resolution of satellite observations to monitor anthropogenic emissions at the required time scales?
  • And what does it take to transform a research system into a fully operational monitoring support capacity?

A mature and credible monitoring system for anthropogenic CO2 emissions requires the integration of all available information streams, which is a complex undertaking, as illustrated.

CHE Concept

The figure identifies six main components that form the architecture of a future CO2 anthropogenic emissions monitoring system:

  1. Input data (yellow boxes) based on observations from many different data;
  2. forward and inverse models (blue boxes) used to  interpret  the  observations  and  construct  the  observation  operators  that  relate  the  observed  quantities  to  CO2 emissions (see criteria that identify different characteristics of models);
  3. Model-data fusion methods combine information from the different data streams and models to find an optimal estimate of CO2 emissions and/or associated model parameters;
  4. Target output (i.e. anthropogenic emissions at monthly and country scale with associated uncertainties, and multi-year trends of country-scale emissions with uncertainties);
  5. Verification process;
  6. Users.