Seminar: Kevin Bowman

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 4:00pm

Kevin Bowman

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

A “top-down” view of the carbon cycle in the global stocktake: Prospects, challenges, and predictions

The Paris Agreement was a watershed moment in providing a framework to address the mitigation of climate change. The Global Stocktake is a bi-decadal process to assess progress in greenhouse gas emission reductions in light of climate feedbacks and response. However, the relationship between emission commitments and concentration requirements is confounded by complex natural biogeochemical processes potentially modulated by climate feedbacks. We investigate the prospects and challenges of mediating between emissions and concentrations along with the predictability of their trajectory. Our primary tool is the NASA Carbon Monitoring System Flux (CMS-Flux) project, which is an inverse modeling and data assimilation system that ingests a suite of observations including the Orbital Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) and state-of-the-art biomass change maps across the carbon cycle to attribute atmospheric carbon variability to anthropogenic and biogeochemical processes.  

We decompose the spatial and process drivers of CO2 accumulation since the beginning of the decade into component fluxes and emissions in the context of the historic 2010 and 2015 El Niños. These processes reshuffle the primary contributors of CO2 growth at bi-decadal time scales that must be reconciled with Nationally Determine Contributions and concentration targets. The predictability of the carbon cycle, then, becomes an essential question at stocktake and longer timescales. We first look at this through the coevolution of air quality and carbon in conjunction with an advanced chemical data assimilation system to determine the likely direction of the anthropogenic carbon footprint. We then consider predictability and observability within a hierarchical emergent constraint (HEC) framework, which is used to investigate both short-term predictions and carbon-climate feedbacks. These elements taken together are core components of a carbon attribution and prediction system needed to assess the efficacy of carbon mitigation strategies. 

Dr. Kevin Bowman is the Principal Investigator of the EOS Aura Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer and the NASA Carbon Monitoring System (CMS-Flux) project. He received a BEE from Auburn University in 1991, a Diplôme de Spécialisation en Traitement et Transmission des Informations at L'Ecole Supérieure d'Electricité (SUPELEC), Metz, France in 1993, and a Phd in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996. He subsequently continued his career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1997. His research is centered on understanding the processes controlling atmospheric composition and their impact on climate using satellite observations, modeling, and data assimilation techniques. Dr. Bowman's broad interests have led to publications in diverse fields including air quality, carbon cycle, chemistry-climate, atmospheric hydrology, emergent constraints, and remote sensing science. An avid musician and guitarist, Dr. Bowman is a founding member of the JPL Jazz Propulsion Band.  

Reception to follow in DGE lobby.

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