The terrestrial biosphere had and has a major influence on the development of contemporary atmospheric conditions through a variety of biogeochemical feedbacks. But human activities have altered the evolved synergies in the surface-atmosphere system and in creasing evidence for human impact entails predictions of the future environment to be the basis for environmental policy.
Still, important interactive processes underlying surface-atmosphere exchange are understood only imperfectly and the predictions remain highly uncertain. The MCT-ELSA will address some of the fundamental gaps in our understanding of the processes underlying trace gas and aerosol fluxes, and their interactions with atmospheric properties.
An international team of young scientists, integrated into the GeoBiosphere Science Centre at Lund University, will be investigating through corresponding field and modelling studies the biogenic reactive organic carbon compound (RCC) and aerosol fluxes in ecosystems of the northern latitudes. In the northern latitudes a significant amount of carbon is stored in the biosphere - increasing temperature and/or precipitation may trigger feedbacks in the carbon cycle, and its interactions with reactive trace gas chemistry and climate.
RC C play an important role in surface-atmosphere feedback loops: affecting the atmospheric CH4 growth rate via their effect on the hydroxyl radical concentration, contributing to the formation of secondary organic aerosols, and being a significant fraction o f the net carbon budget in many ecosystems. Since CO2, CH4 and aerosols influence the atmosphere's radiative balance there is a clear link between
RCC emission and climate. RCC emissions are furthermore very sensitive to land cover change but projected emission changes in an evolving chemical and climatic environment are highly uncertain. The accuracy of source estimates for organic aerosol species has not yet been assessed.
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