Seminar: Gordon Bonan

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 4:00pm

Gordon Bonan

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Modeling the terrestrial biosphere in the Earth system: Moving beyond the incorrect but useful paradigm

Climate science has expanded to a broad viewpoint that embraces the interconnections among planetary physics, chemistry, and biology and one in which terrestrial ecosystems are a central component of the Earth system. This broadening from the geosciences to biogeosciences is especially evident in the evolution from climate models to Earth system models, with a multidisciplinary perspective that includes terrestrial ecosystems, the plants, microbes, and other organisms that inhabit ecosystems, and the exchanges of energy and materials between ecosystems and the atmosphere. With Earth system models, the atmospheric science community’s traditional emphasis on weather and climate can be extended to a more multifaceted Earth system prediction, including the biosphere, biogeochemical cycles, and biological resources. This presentation examines the challenges and opportunities as the science moves beyond climate projections to predict the future state of the biosphere. It reflects on the past 30 years of scientific advancement to see how we arrived at the current state of the science and looks at the next 30 years to see what is needed.

Reception to follow in DGE lobby.

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