Martin Heimann What Is the Role of the Eurasian Forests Under a Warming Climate?
© Maximilian Dörrbecker
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The Eurasian forests are an important component in the earth’s climate system: Forests contain a lot of carbon in the vegetation and in the soil. But their role under warming conditions is still unclear – on the one hand, a higher CO2 level in the air acts like a fertilizer for plants that grow and thus store more CO2 in the form of carbon. On the other hand, microbes that like warmer temperatures bring the soil to decompose faster and release even more CO2 and methane. To monitor long-term biogeochemical changes, a German-Russian research collaboration established an observatory in the Siberian taiga. Since 2006, the regional effects of global warming are studied from the Zotino Tall Tower Observatory. As MARTIN HEIMANN explains in this video, two of the main findings of the long-term measurements are that currently the western Siberian forests store more carbon than they release. However, due to the many bogs the region is also a source of methane, another important greenhouse gas.
LT Video Publication DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10213
The Zotino Tall Tower Observatory (ZOTTO): Quantifying Large Scale Biogeochemical Changes in Central Siberia
- Martin Heimann, Ernst-Detlef Schulze, Jan Winderlich, Meinrat O. Andreae, Xuguang Chi, Christoph Gerbig, Olaf Kolle, Karl Kübler, Jost Lavric and Eugene Mikhailov
- Nova Acta Leopoldina NF
- Published in 2014