The U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program is a community-focused program that develops and implements multidisciplinary initiatives to advance carbon cycle science priorities across terrestrial, atmospheric, oceanic, and societal dimensions and serves as an information source for research, observing and modeling communities through increased engagement between the research, federal agency partners and the stakeholder communities.

CO2 measurement site in Round Lake, MN, as part of the NACP Mid Continental Intensive (MCI) - a test-bed for methodologies used to determine the carbon flux between land surfaces and the atmosphere - to validate and compare regional carbon flux estimates derived from “top-down” atmospheric budgets and “bottom-up” ecosystem inventories. (Photo credit: S. Richardson.)

Measuring instrument in orange colored water in river

Sensors deployed by USGS in West Twin Creek, Alaska measuring dissolved organic carbon, dissolved carbon dioxide, temperature, pH, and electrical conductivity of carbon rich runoff at ice melt.  (Photo credit: Mark Dornblaser, USGS.)

USGS graduate students measuring soil carbon dioxide exchange with CO2 flux chambers at the Nome Creek Research Watershed, Alaska. (Photo credit: Kim Wickland, USGS)

River with snow and trees

USGS Scientists measure colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and carbon dioxide emissions from West Twin Creek, Alaska.  (Photo credit: Rob Striegl, USGS.)

Ruler in front of soil

Soil plug taken within a histosol deposit (peat) of the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge. Peat is a high carbon accumulation of partially decayed vegetation and usually forms in wetland conditions, where consistent flooding obstructs the flow of oxygen from the atmosphere, which slows rates of decomposition. (Photo credit: Zhilliang Zhu, USGS.)

Top af a metal tower against blue sky and wispy clouds

An Indianapolis Flux project (INFLUX) tower: The INFLUX ground-based observation network includes 12 in-situ tower-based, continuous measurements of CO2, CO, CH4, and other measurements, data products, and modeling efforts. INFLUX is funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (Photo credit: N. Miles.)

Yellow instrument being hauled out of the water

Using carbon sensors, scientists want to sample each Great Lake for evidence of acidification similar to monitoring taking place in the oceans.   Funding: NOAA’s OAP, PMEL (Photo credit: NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Carbon Group.)


Two men standing on a ship with instruments

Researchers aboard NOAA ship Henry Bigelow collect water from a CTD rosette to analyze dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity- two parameters which are important in understanding ocean acidification.  (Photo credit: Jerry Prezioso.)  Funding: NOAA NEFSC, AOML, OAP.

Group of people standing in front of white screen

Fourth NACP All Investigators' Meeting Planning Committee, including CCIWG members, and staff from the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office and the NACP Office.

Small hole in the ground with shovel next to it

Quantifying the carbon content of fibric surface organic material located within the permafrost-rich, polygonal-tundra landscape of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska.  (Photo credit: Zhiliang Zhu, CCIWG member from USGS.)  See related publications here.

Color photo of a group of people standing on outdoor stairs

Members of the CCSSG, NACP SSG and CCIWG at the first joint meeting of both SSGs in 2013. All SSG meetings are held biannually in Washington, D.C.

permafrost ice carbon undersoil

Road cut showing ice and carbon-rich permafrost underlying soil at the Nome Creek Research Watershed, Alaska. (Photo credit: Kim Wickland, USGS)

Woman behind podium giving a talk in classroom

CCIWG Member Diane Wickland presents the history of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program during the first joint meeting of the CCSSG and NACP SSG.

Color photo of a group of people standing on outdorr stairs

Members of the CCSSG and CCIWG at the 26th CCSSG meeting held in April 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Man standing in front of power plant, holding an instrument

Scientist assessing carbon emissions from a power plant (Ventus Project made possible through NSF CAREER funding). (Photo credit: Kevin Gurney, ASU.) More info here.

Three people with plastic bottles by creek in winter

Gulkana Glacier meltwater sampling in Alaska for dissolved organic carbon and other chemical analyses at USGS laboratories in Boulder, Co.  See related publications here.  (Photo credit: Rob Striegle, USGS.)

Group of people on a large staircase, indoors

Participants of the April 2013 Global Carbon Project Scientific Steering Group Meeting and Negative Emissions Workshop organized in collaboration with IIASA in Austria. The U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program is an affiliated office of the Global Carbon Project.

People sitting in a classroom

CCIWG addressing carbon cycle science community at a scientific steering group meeting, 2013, in Washington, D.C.


To improve understanding of the global carbon cycle, including the impacts of increasing greenhouse gas emissions on climate, ecosystem health, and society; to develop science-based information and resources to support policy-making and management; and to communicate findings broadly among national and international scientific and user communities.