Seminar: Yi Yin

Thursday, April 1, 2021 - 12:00pm

Yi Yin

Research Scientist, California Institute of Technology

Climate extremes and ecosystem disturbances:
A carbon cycle perspective

The increasing frequency of climate extreme is one of the most profound ways that climate change impacts ecosystems and societies. The scientific community faces a pressing need to understand the response and feedback of terrestrial ecosystems to increasing extreme events, such as fire, drought, and flood. I aim to quantify the impacts of these disturbance events on the land carbon sink by combining top-down atmospheric inversions and bottom-up biophysical measurements, and explore the underlying mechanisms using process models and data assimilation tools. 

Human interventions have led to fire declines in the last decades on the global scale, resulting in enhanced land carbon sink through both reductions in direct emissions and legacy effects on vegetation growth. Such legacy effect has been overlooked in the current global carbon budget, which has significant implications as the impacts of fire decline over the last century could have been misattributed to other mechanisms and hence bias future projections. Furthermore, future fire risks are increasing in many regions, in particular, peatland fires pose strong potential warming feedback. On the other end of the spectrum, floods also impose large disturbances on ecosystems, particularly in agricultural land. I will demonstrate how newly available satellite observations can improve our ecological monitoring and forecasting capabilities in the event of climate extremes. 

Yi Yin is a research scientist in Environmental Science and Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Ecology at Peking University and was formerly a postdoc at Le Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement and a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She aims to improve our understanding of biogeochemical cycles in the advent of climate change, with particular focuses on disturbance events such as fire, drought, and flood. She has developed essential modules in atmospheric inversion and data assimilation tools that utilize novel satellite and ground-based observations to study greenhouse gas budgets (CO, CH4 and CO2) and associated processes in response to climate change.

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