Work package 1: Improved carbon cycle modelling to inform mitigation policy

This work package focuses on improving understanding through observations, field studies and numerical modelling of the carbon balance of Brazil with a focus on the Amazonian forest but interest also in other ecosystems.

It will look at comparing carbon cycle models with local field studies and manipulation experiments to develop and improve the models and constrain projections.

Potential activities will include:

  • Development and improvement of land-surface model processes in tropical forest and other Brazilian ecosystems such as fire, mortality, forestry, secondary regrowth or biofuels.
  • Evaluation of model performance and sensitivity against measurement campaigns and manipulation experiments such as
    • tree size and functioning (RAINFOR and other existing data sets), carbon dioxide, evaporation, stream-flow and soil moisture
    • the new Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) study of forest responses to elevated CO2
      This represents a critical knowledge gap and has not yet been carried out in a tropical forest.
    • Eddy covariance data, (e.g. studies currently being developed in the Amazon and Caatinga - a semi arid region)
    • Biomass mapping and ground-truthing of satellite remote sensing
  • Assessment of model simulations of present day carbon stocks and sinks, land use emissions, and future scenarios of climate and land-use change.

The project will mainly focus on use and development of two land surface models - JULES and InLand - run under common protocols, but will also draw on, and contribute to, the annual carbon budget of the Global Carbon Project, and TRENDY model analysis of the global terrestrial carbon cycle.


WP1 will provide robust science background for mitigation policy both through improved quantification of the global carbon cycle, including natural carbon sinks which are important for 'overshoot and recovery' scenarios. Specifically, quantitative assessment of tropical forest carbon stocks and sinks will contribute to:

  • the Brazilian Government Working Group on REDD+, contributing to the lineation of the scientific basis for the deforestation carbon emissions reference level.
  • Preparation of the Third National Communication on GHG emissions to the UNFCCC, on the LULUCF sector

Last updated: 30 September 2016

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