Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 12:00pm
Associate Professor and Fischer Faculty Fellow, Indiana University
Quantifying biophysical impacts of natural climate solutions in the United States
Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will likely require removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, for example with managed alterations to land cover including reforestation and crop diversification. These so-called “natural climate solutions” (NCS) have growing private and public sector support, despite being characterized by substantial biophysical uncertainty. This talk addresses the potential for NCS to directly alter local temperature regimes, using new approaches to disentangle interactions between land cover, surface temperature, and air temperature dynamics.
I will show that, in the Eastern US, biophysical impacts of reforestation confer a substantial climate adaptation benefit and play a role in explaining historic patterns of air temperature change. Opportunities to extend these approaches to other NCS, including cover crops, will be presented. I will end by discussing strategies to overcome key knowledge gaps hindering our ability to forecast NCS mitigation and adaptation potentials into the future.
Dr. Kim Novick is an associate professor and Fischer Faculty Fellow in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Her research focuses on understanding how climate variability affects ecosystems, and complimentary processes by which ecosystems alter climate at local to global scales. This field of research – “land atmosphere interactions” – blends concepts from meteorology, plant physiology, and hydrology and has a strong emphasis on socially-relevant problem solving. Much of her work relies on synthesis of data aggregated in environmental observation networks, and she serves in a leadership capacity for multiple networks, including AmeriFlux and NSF’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). In recognition of her research accomplishments, she was awarded the inaugural American Geophysical Union Thomas Hilker Early Career Award for Excellence in the Biogeosciences.
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