Chen, JX; Gerbig, C; Marshall, J; Totsche, KU (2020). Short-term forecasting of regional biospheric CO2 fluxes in Europe using a light-use-efficiency model (VPRM, MPI-BGC version 1.2). GEOSCIENTIFIC MODEL DEVELOPMENT, 13(9), 4091-4106.

Forecasting atmospheric CO2 concentrations on synoptic timescales (similar to days) can benefit the planning of field campaigns by better predicting the location of important gradients. One aspect of this, accurately predicting the day-to-day variation in biospheric fluxes, poses a major challenge. This study aims to investigate the feasibility of using a diagnostic light-use-efficiency model, the Vegetation Photosynthesis Respiration Model (VPRM), to forecast biospheric CO2 fluxes on the timescale of a few days. As input, the VPRM model requires downward shortwave radiation, 2m temperature, and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and land surface water index (LSWI), both of which are calculated from MODIS reflectance measurements. Flux forecasts were performed by extrapolating the model input into the future, i.e., using downward shortwave radiation and temperature from a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model, as well as extrapolating the MODIS indices to calculate future biospheric CO2 fluxes with VPRM. A hindcast for biospheric CO2 fluxes in Europe in 2014 has been done and compared to eddy covariance flux measurements to assess the uncertainty from different aspects of the forecasting system. In total the range-normalized mean absolute error (normalized) of the 5 d flux forecast at daily timescales is 7.1 %, while the error for the model itself is 15.9 %. The largest forecast error source comes from the meteorological data, in which error from shortwave radiation contributes slightly more than the error from air temperature. The error contribution from all error sources is similar at each flux observation site and is not significantly dependent on vegetation type.