Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Wednesday February 4, 2015 4:00 PM

Atmospheric signatures of changing global biogeochemistry

Speaker: Ralph Keeling, Department of Geosciences Research, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
Location: Arms 155 (Robert P. Sharp Lecture Hall)

We are now a century or more into the "large-scale geophysical experiment" of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  As this experiment slowly plays out, a major need is to track changes in land and ocean ecosystems which are impacted both by changes in physical climate and chemical climate (e.g. changing CO2 levels.).  One surprise is that land ecosystems seem to be acting as a sink for a significant fraction the excess carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning.  The world's forests have evidently been thrown out of steady state by a range of processes and are accumulating carbon unusually.  In contrast, there is little evidence that marine ecosystems - at least those remote from coastal influences - have undergone such large changes.  But it could be that we simply lack adequate observations of marine ecosystems.  This talk will highlight progress toward resolving changes in both land and ocean ecosystems via measurements of atmospheric CO2 and O2.

Series Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Contact: Kathy Young at 626-395-8732 katyoung@gps.caltech.edu