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Modelling the vegetation and methane emission response to abrupt climatic changes

English title Modelling the vegetation and methane emission response to abrupt climatic changes
Applicant Spahni Renato
Number 117009
Funding scheme Fellowships for prospective researchers
Research institution University of Bristol Dept. of Earth Sciences Wills Memorial Building
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.05.2007 - 30.04.2008
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All Disciplines (2)

Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Other disciplines of Physics

Keywords (9)

climate; vegetation; methane; model; wetlands; greenhouse gas; abrupt changes; emission; ice core

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
The understanding of the earth’s natural climatic variability and of abrupt climate change is of great interest regarding ongoing global warming in the 21th century. The reconstruction of past changes using natural climate archives and its interpretation using quantitative models is an essential task in this context to study the relevant underlying mechanisms in climate change. Of particular importance is the understanding of the natural variations of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The aim of this proposal is to simulate CH4 emission changes from global wetlands that occurred during periods of abrupt climatic change in the past. The simulated emission changes are then compared to the atmospheric CH4 concentration variations reconstructed from polar ice cores. First, transient simulations are performed over an abrupt climatic cold event 8200 years before present. A second approach is done by performing steady state simulations for a stadial (cold) and an interstadial (warm) period during the last glacial epoch. For this study, the output of full GCM simulations representing adequately the paleo climate will be used as input to a dynamical global vegetation model combined with a CH4 emission model. This model set up will then be used to investigate the timing, amplitude, regional and seasonal pattern of abrupt change of vegetation cover and deduced CH4 source emission changes. The goal is to identify the sensitivity of CH4 emission to abrupt climatic change.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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