SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY FACULTY CANDIDATE SEMINAR: Trace Gases in the Atmosphere
DATE: May 29th, Tuesday, 4p.m.
LOCATION: Eckart Lecture Hall
TITLE: Constraining carbon cycle dynamics using contemporary observations: Achievements, challenges and opportunities
Future climate predictions and societal responses (to climate change) require an in-depth understanding of carbon-climate feedbacks and changes to the natural carbon cycle. This in turn hinges on our understanding of the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), their variability and their future evolution. My research focuses on developing and implementing statistical and numerical methods that utilize advances in both observational and modeling strategies to study the carbon cycle across a variety of spatial and temporal scales. In this talk, I will give an overview of my research approach with two complementary examples: what do atmospheric observations tell us about contemporary sources and sinks of CO2 and how did the global carbon cycle respond to the 2015-2016 El Niño event? I will discuss the potential (and the necessity) for a coordinated carbon cycle and atmospheric composition observing system for providing new insights into atmospheric transport and biogeochemical models. This talk will also provide an outlook of my research priorities, now and for the next several years. These emerging areas build upon the current emphasis on diagnosing and attributing sources and sinks and tackle a number of targets set forth by the carbon-climate community, including observational (e.g., assess the scientific value and potential of future measurement constellations), methodological (e.g., reconcile top-down and bottom-up estimates of sources and sinks), and policy-related (e.g., verify CO2 and CH4 emissions for international legislative purposes).