Next-generation terrestrial carbon monitoring

Steven W. Running, Ramakrishna R. Nemani, John R.G. Townshend, Dennis D. Baldocchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The first glimpse for humanity of global carbon monitoring was the invaluable record of atmospheric carbon dioxide measurements on the summit of Mauna Loa, initiated in 1958 by Charles David Keeling. Terrestrial carbon monitoring at the global scale only became possible with the advent of earth observation satellites in the early 1980s. Current science now allows an integration of satellite data, ground stations, and field observations integrated by mechanistic carbon cycle models. However this observational potential has not been realized by current systems, and international investments and coordination are needed. Future policy decisions on mitigating climate change, monitoring carbon credits, and developing biofuels will put a high demand on accurate monitoring and understanding of the global carbon cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-69
Number of pages21
JournalGeophysical Monograph Series
StatePublished - 2009


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