Lecture: Improving soil carbon representation in earth system models using observations and geospatial science

For whom
Students, Employees
09-11-2018 from 10:00 to 12:00
Lecture room A1.1, Campus Coupure, Coupure Links 653, Gent
Research group Soilscape Modelling
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On 9 November 2018, Umakant Mishra (Argonne National Laboratory, USA) holds a lecture on soil carbon representation in earth system models at Ghent University.

Climatic and anthropogenic factors may alter the future state of ecosystems. Earth system models (ESMs) are used to predict the future states of ecosystems and climate, and study the feedbacks between them. Soil studies produce wealth of scientific information that has multiple uses including informing ESMs.

In this lecture, Umakant Mishra will present results of several recent studies from the circumpolar arctic region that use soil observations in combination with geospatial and process based modeling to benchmark the land component of ESMs.

In a model benchmarking study, Mishra reported several ways to reduce the discrepancies between soil observations and model representations of soil carbon stocks and active-layer thickness.

His scaling study suggests that strengths of observed environmental controls weakens with scale (grid size) and are only valid to specific spatial extent. Predicted variance of organic carbon stocks decreases exponentially with scale up to ~500m, and then becomes constant in Arctic/boreal ecosystems.

The relevance of ESMs for policy-making depends on our ability to assign quantitative error bounds and levels of uncertainty on ESM products and environmental scientists are likely to play an increasingly important role in this emerging domain.

About the speaker: Umakant Mishra

Umakant Mishra is a Ghent University alumnus and Geospatial Scientist in the Environmental Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, USA.

He studies land surface spatial heterogeneity, anthropogenic and climatic impacts on soil carbon, and benchmarking earth system models.

He serves as an Associate Editor in multiple scientific journals and currently he is an executive board member of the International Soil Modeling Consortium.