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Geophysical Institute

GFI/BCCR Seminar: Ecological insights in the Earth system: Facilitating knowledge-model integration

Will Wieder (National Center for Atmospheric Research and University of Colorado, Boulder)

Ecological insights in the Earth system: Facilitating knowledge-model integration

Abstract

From their origins as physical representations of the climate system, Earth system models (ESMs) have grown to incorporate a multitude of physical, chemical, and biological processes. These developments present new opportunities to gain insight and make scientifically informed decisions about how human activities can alter Earth’s operating systems. They also present enormous challenges in trying to bridge perspectives from historically disconnected scientific disciplines. Yet, addressing these challenges is critical- especially in the world beneath our feet. This talk explores terrestrial biogeochemical cycles from theoretical, empirical and modeling perspectives and discusses some of the challenges in applying new insights into our understanding of the global carbon cycle and its likely response to novel environmental conditions.