Carbon assimilation system

Scientists at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) are actively studying the sources of greenhouse gases across Canada and the rest of the Earth. Fossil fuel emissions and industrial production are the major anthropogenic sources of CO2, but there are also natural sources and sinks from the biosphere and the oceans, as well as from forest fires. 

A model can be used to simulate greenhouse gas concentrations based on estimates of emissions and observations.  By comparing the simulated and measured concentrations, the sources and sinks that contribute to a specific observation station can be estimated. This process of combining atmospheric model output and measurements in a physical-statistical way is known as “data assimilation”.   

The ECCC Carbon Assimilation System uses greenhouse gas observations from a variety of platforms (ground based, aircraft, and satellite) to allow scientists to better understand greenhouse gas sources and sinks.  With the Carbon Assimilation System, we can:

  • Provide maps of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in the recent past
  • Estimate natural sources and sinks of CO2 and CH4, and their uncertainties
  • Perform virtual experiments to determine the optimal locations of our ECCC measurement network

The basis of the Carbon Assimilation System is ECCC's operational weather forecast model and air quality forecast model.

Services and information

Contact the Carbon Assimilation Program

Send your enquiries, comments and suggestions to:

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Climate Research Division
4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario CANADA
M3H 5T4

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