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On the assignment of prior errors in Bayesian inversions of CO 2 surface fluxes

Frédéric Chevallier 1, 2 Nicolas Viovy 1, 3 Markus Reichstein 4 Philippe Ciais 1, 5
2 SATINV - Modélisation INVerse pour les mesures atmosphériques et SATellitaires
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
3 MOSAIC - Modélisation des Surfaces et Interfaces Continentales
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
5 ICOS-ATC - ICOS-ATC
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
Abstract : [1] For the estimation of surface CO 2 fluxes from atmospheric concentration measurements, most often Bayesian approaches have been adopted. As with all Bayesian techniques the definition of prior probability distributions is a critical step in the analysis. However, practical considerations usually guide the definition of prior information rather than objective criterions. In this paper, in situ CO 2 flux pointwise measurements made by the eddy-covariance technique are used to estimate the errors of prior fluxes provided by the prognostic carbon-water-energy model ORCHIDEE. The results contradict the usual convenient assumption of a multivariate Gaussian distribution. The errors of ORCHIDEE have a heavier-tail distribution with a linear temporal dependency after the second lag day and no particular spatial structure. Such error distribution significantly complicates the inversion of CO 2 surface fluxes. Citation: Chevallier, F., N. Viovy, M. Reichstein, and P. Ciais (2006), On the assignment of prior errors in Bayesian inversions of CO 2 surface fluxes, Geophys.
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Frédéric Chevallier, Nicolas Viovy, Markus Reichstein, Philippe Ciais. On the assignment of prior errors in Bayesian inversions of CO 2 surface fluxes. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2006, 33 (13), ⟨10.1029/2006GL026496⟩. ⟨hal-02924878⟩

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