Overall, the ORCHIDEE model is able to achieve a consistent fit to all three data streams, which suggests that current LSMs have reached the level of development to assimilate these observations. The assimilation of MODIS-NDVI (step 1) reduced the growing season length in ORCHIDEE for temperate and boreal ecosystems, thus decreasing the global mean annual gross primary production (GPP). Using FLUXNET data (step 2) led to large improvements in the seasonal cycle of the NEE and LE fluxes for all ecosystems (i.e., increased amplitude for temperate ecosystems). The assimilation of atmospheric CO2, using the general circulation model (GCM) of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMDz; step 3), provides an overall constraint (i.e., constraint on large-scale net CO2 fluxes), resulting in an improvement of the fit to the observed atmospheric CO2 growth rate. Thus, the optimized model predicts a land C (carbon) sink of around 2.2 PgC yr−1 (for the 2000–2009 period), which is more compatible with current estimates from the Global Carbon Project (GCP) than the prior value. The consistency of the stepwise approach is evaluated with back-compatibility checks. The final optimized model (after step 3) does not significantly degrade the fit to MODIS-NDVI and FLUXNET data that were assimilated in the first two steps, suggesting that a stepwise approach can be used instead of the more “challenging” implementation of a simultaneous optimization in which all data streams are assimilated together. Most parameters, including the scalar of the initial soil carbon pool size, changed during the optimization with a large error reduction. This work opens new perspectives for better predictions of the land carbon budgets.