Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Carbon cycle and climate systems

The carbon cycle, one of the most important biogeochemical cycles not only plays a major role in the biological processes of living organisms but also affects the earth’s climate to a great extent. The current project is a thorough study of the various stages of the carbon cycle and its links and influences upon climate systems.
Carbon cycle and climate systems
One of the major biogeochemical cycles is the carbon cycle. During this nutrient cycle, carbon in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) through the photosynthesis of plants is taken up from the atmosphere and incorporated into their tissues. It may also pass into the bodies of animals as plants are eaten up. Respiration and decomposition of animals and plants returns carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

It is the great importance of this cycle for living organisms that requires detailed knowledge of each part of its function. The Max-Plank Institute for Biogeochemistry has conducted an extended study of the global carbon cycle within the climate system. The project study under the name ESCOBA, consists of the development of novel approaches capable of inferring global carbon balances based on measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Global but also regional carbon balances can be deduced not only from CO2 but also from other tracers that are linked to the carbon cycle as are oxygen and nitrogen concentration measurements, the stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen, radiocarbon and certain fluorocarbons.

The measurements obtained serve for the development of new and the validation of already existing atmospheric transport models. The research group has published a scientific report on the development and validation of such models. Currently research is focused on process oriented modelling and global atmospheric inversion studies. Moreover prognostic carbon models of the ocean and the terrestrial biosphere provide simulations of atmospheric surface fluxes and prognoses of future atmospheric CO2 levels.

The ESCOBA study results are expected to aid our understanding of ecosystems, provide useful data for climatologic analyses and strengthen our efforts for better environmental protection.

Related information

Record Number: 80508 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Environment