Biosphere-Chemistry-Climate Interactions

Our climate is influenced by the combination of natural and human-induced changes, including feedbacks within the climate system. For example, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from vegetation (example: isoprene) participate in the formation of ozone and also of organic aerosol, both of which are sensitive to anthropogenic emissions of nitrogen oxides and VOCs as well. These same particles and gases may damage ecosystem health or be a source of nutrients to the biosphere. The latest generation of models can be used to investigate these chemistry-climate interactions and project how the composition of the atmosphere may change.

Work in our group focuses on developing a better understanding of biosphere-atmosphere interactions. Specific topics of interest are understanding the role of land use change on atmospheric composition (e.g. in Southeast Asia due to palm plantation expansion, or due to agricultural expansion); how crop productivity is affected by both climate change and air pollution; how ozone is taken up by plants; the prediction of air quality extremes in a future climate; and  investigating how dust and nitrogen transport impact ecocystem productivity.