The role of trace gas flux networks in the biogeosciences



Vast networks of meteorological sensors ring the globe, providing continuous measurements of an array of atmospheric state variables such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, and the concentration of carbon dioxide [New et al., 1999; Tans et al., 1996]. These measurements provide input to weather and climate models and are key to detecting trends in climate, greenhouse gases, and air pollution. Yet to understand how and why these atmospheric state variables vary in time and space, biogeoscientists need to know where, when, and at what rates important gases are flowing between the land and the atmosphere. Tracking trace gas fluxes provides information on plant or microbial metabolism and climate-ecosystem interactions.