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Where does all the carbon go? Piecing together the North American carbon puzzle from a synthesis of top-down and bottom-up estimates

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019
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12:00 PM ET

Title: Where does all the carbon go? Piecing together the North American carbon puzzle from a synthesis of top-down and bottom-up estimates.

Seminar 13 in the Series, "From Science to Solutions: The State of the Carbon Cycle (SOCCR2) Seminar Series". We plan to host seminars in this series on most Tuesdays, 12-1pm ET, Feb. 26 - May 28

Daniel J. Hayes, University of Maine and Rodrigo Vargas, University of Delaware.
Both presenting remotely.

U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office/UCAR and NOAA's National Ocean Service Science Seminar; coordinators are Gyami Shrestha (, &
Webinar Access: We will use Adobe Connect.To join the session, go to, enter as "Guest", and please enter your first and last name. Users should use either IE or Edge on Windows or Safari if using a Mac. Audio will be available thru the computer only; no phone. Questions will be addressed in the chat window. This Webcast will be recorded, archived and made accessible in the near future. You can test your ability to use Adobe Connect at the following link:
Audio is over the computer, so adjust volume on your computer speakers or headsets.
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Scientific information quantifying and characterizing regional-to-global scale carbon cycling is necessary for developing national and international policy on climate change impacts, mitigation and adaptation. In this presentation, we show how we can piece together the various components of the North American carbon budget from multiple constraints on continental-scale estimates of the major stocks and flows. Our analysis synthesizes bottom-up estimates of stock change over the past decade among carbon pools of the major land sectors (forests and wood products, agricultural soils, grasslands, wetlands, and arctic-boreal ecosystems) and lateral transfers along the terrestrial-aquatic system (inland waters, tidal wetlands, estuaries and the coastal ocean). Using a simple but comprehensive and consistent budget accounting framework, we reconcile the various bottom-up assessments into an overall estimate of net land-atmosphere exchange of carbon from North America's land and coastal ocean to the atmosphere, and compare this estimate with top-down estimates for the continent over the last decade.
About the 

Daniel Hayes is Assistant Professor in the School of Forest Resources and serves as Director of the Wheatland Geospatial Analysis Laboratory at the University of Maine. He teaches, does research and performs outreach in the use of remote sensing in forest inventory and ecosystem applications. Dan studies the role of climate change and disturbance in the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems, with a particular focus on Arctic and Boreal regions. He has contributed to various regional, continental and global carbon budget modeling and synthesis efforts and publishes on the methods and results of multi-disciplinary, ecosystem-scale scientific investigations. Prior to his appointment at the University of Maine, Dan was a post-doctoral fellow in the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a research scientist in the Climate Change Science Institute at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is currently involved in various collaborative efforts including the interagency North American Carbon Program (NACP), NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), DOE's Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic) and the NSF Permafrost Carbon Network. 

Rodrigo Vargas is an Associate Professor at the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Delaware. He completed his PhD at the University of California-Riverside and a postdoc at the University of California-Berkeley. His research interests focus on how biophysical factors regulate greenhouse gas dynamics in terrestrial and coastal ecosystems. He studies soil-plant-atmosphere interactions to understand and quantify the response of ecosystems to management, extreme events, and global environmental change. His research spans from data mining and digital soil mapping, to remote sensing and micrometeorological measurements of greenhouse gas fluxes at multiple spatio-temporal scales and vegetation types. Dr. Vargas has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has received funding from NSF, NASA, USDA, DOD and several state and international organizations. He serves as an Associate Editor for Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences published by the American Geophysical Union. He is part of the science steering groups of the North American Carbon Program, North American Forestry Commission, Mexican Carbon Program, and AmeriFlux. He is a member of the committee on Science and the Arts in the Earth and Environmental Science cluster of the Franklin Institute, and a member of the U.S. National Committee for Soil Science of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

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