Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Dr. Stephen Ogle Lab

Dr. Stephen OgleThe Ogle Laboratory has led the compilation of national greenhouse gas inventory estimates for agricultural soils during the past decade. The annual assessment provides the official federal policy estimates for the agricultural carbon and soil management source categories, which are used in reporting to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as other domestic policy analysis. This work is done in collaboration with Steve Del Grosso from the USDA Agriculture Research Service, as well as F. Jay Breidt, Keith Paustian and Bill Parton and members of their laboratories (Ken Killian, Cindy Keogh, Mark Easter, Steve Williams, Amy Swan and Ernie Marx). 

The Ogle Laboratory led the Mid-Continent Intensive (MCI) Campaign which included over 40 projects with over 100 investigators, which were funded across five different federal agencies.  This intensive campaign has been a major effort within the North American Carbon Program, and served as a test-bed for comparing top-down and bottom-up methodologies that are used to estimate regional CO2 fluxes. At the scale of the entire MCI region, atmospheric inversion CO2 fluxes agreed well with the bottom-up inventory budgets within the bounds of statistical uncertainty, regardless of whether the inversion was run at a regional, continental, or global scale.  This research arguably constitutes the most complete, robust, and successful example of a top-down retrieval of CO2 fluxes at a regional scale to date based on comparability with a bottom-up inventory. Key investigators included Andrew Schuh, Dan Cooley, F. Jay Breidt and Scott Denning from Colorado State University, in addition to Ken Davis, Thomas Lauvaux, Tasha Miles and Scott Richardson from Penn State University.

The Ogle Laboratory has also developed an advanced software system, the Agriculture and Land Use National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (ALU) software to assist inventory compilers in developing with improving their national greenhouse gas inventories for agriculture, forestry and other land uses.  The ALU Software is designed to improve GHG emission and removal estimation using IPCC Tier 1 or 2 methods, following the guidelines developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  The program is intended to ensure that inventories are transparent, accurate, complete, consistent across time and comparable to inventories from other countries.  Shannon Spencer manages the software development team.

The Ogle Laboratory is collaborating with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service to develop a national soil monitoring network. The network will be of immense value for tracking long-term changes in soil attributes, including soil carbon stocks, by augmenting existing survey data collected by the USDA-NRCS.  The measurement data in combination with existing computer modeling applications will provide additional insight into resource trends, informing USDA program initiatives by incorporating soil measures into farm policy analysis.  Moreover, the network provides key information needed to support Federal greenhouse gas mitigation policies. The network will eventually allow for long-term monitoring of soil resources across 5000 sites in the US.  F. Jay Breidt, Keith Paustian and Karolien Denef are assisting with protocol development and implementation of the network, while Matt Levi is providing day to day management of this large effort.