Kaplan Seminar "Climate Amplifiers..."

Start Date/Time: Thursday, August 23, 2007, 2:00 PM
Location: ATG 310C

Climate Amplifiers: The role of trace gas and aerosol emissions from terrestrial ecosystems in the abrupt climate change

Speaker: Jed Kaplan (Switzerland)

Abstract: How do changes in the terrestrial biosphere amplify changes in the climate system? The ice core record of trace gas and aerosol concentrations contains a dramatic illustration of how rapidly the terrestrial biosphere can respond to climate change, yet we know little of how changes the abundance of methane, N2O or dust in the atmosphere could in turn effect the Earth's climate and amplify or damp ongoing climate changes. This forward-looking talk will present a new interdisciplinary study of the interaction between soils, vegetation and the atmosphere, with the goal of quantifying how emissions of nitrogen containing gases and dust from the Earth's surface effect global climate. This project addresses a major gap in our understanding of the Earth system, namely the interaction between plants, soil, and microorganisms, and their relationship with greenhouse gas concentrations and climate. The work has far reaching implications for our ability to understand abrupt climate changes in the past, and to predict the future evolution of our planet.