Carbon Community Collaboration
The carbon cycle—or the continual flux of carbon through the atmosphere, oceans, soil, and living organisms—is a foundational component of the Earth system that interacts with
In 2014, NASA, USDA, DOE, and NOAA jointly invested $37 million in 41 new research projects through an interagency solicitation (NASA-ROSES Carbon Cycle Science). These projects will help to answer questions about carbon dynamics at the interface of water and land; in the Arctic, tropics, and high latitudes; in urban, suburban, forested, coastal, and agricultural landscapes; and below ground. Additionally, some projects will focus on synthesizing current research to identify knowledge gaps and provide a basis for future efforts.
Since its initiation in 2007, the Coastal CARbon Synthesis (CCARS) activity has brought together international researchers to answer questions about how carbon moves through coastal environments in North America. This multi-year collaborative effort culminated in the 2014 CCARS Community Workshop, held at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, with representation and support from USGCRP agencies including NASA, USGS, NOAA, and NSF. Sixty participants working in different parts of coastal North America distilled near-term science priorities—including observations, modeling, and process studies—which will be summarized in a science plan currently under development.
NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) program, as directed by Congress, continues to foster the development of a U.S. carbon monitoring capability that supports scientific research and local and regional management efforts. In addition to NASA, CMS involves significant participation by the U.S. Forest Service (USDA-FS), NOAA, DOE, USGS, academic institutions, and the private sector. Strong collaborations are also in place with USDA’s Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program, the interagency SilvaCarbon program, and the United Nations’ international Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) program. Carbon monitoring and verification prototypes developed through the CMS program have emphasized the exploitation of satellite and airborne observational platforms, computational capabilities, and the inclusion of
stakeholderexpertise in combination with effective use of commercial off-the-shelf technologies. Significant effort is being devoted to evaluation of these approaches, even as new CMS projects are funded and developed. In the next few years, NASA will continue to strengthen ties with other Federal agencies involved in carbon monitoring, with the goal of collaboratively establishing a capability that fully meets the Nation’s needs and provides a model for the world.