This paper presents the first direct comparison of regional CO2 fluxes estimated by inversion of atmospheric concentration data with fluxes measured by towers and aircraft. All measurements were made in a 300x300km domain in southwest France in 2005. Concentrations were measured on two short towers while fluxes were measured on 5 towers and 27 aircraft transects. The inversion produces a better fit than the prior estimate to the measured fluxes, capturing both the temporal evolution and behaviour of different ecosystems. Additionally, the final estimate is most improved where the theoretical error reduction is highest. Results suggest that atmospheric inversion is a reliable tool for estimating regional CO2 fluxes provided the components are verified.
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