In addition to natural processes, humans influence the planet they inhabit. The first thing that often comes to mind when talking about anthropogenic activities are the effects of greenhouse gases like CO2 and CH4 on global temperature and the accompanying discussions about climate change. Awareness of human made climate change has increased. Reasons for that are, for example, the recent extremely hot and dry summer in Europe, Asia, North America and northern Africa and the involvement of policy makers in the Paris-agreement negotiations. Climate debates are prevalent among policy makers, but not always underpinned using the latest insights from scientific studies.
This session has a broad context and will not just highlight the effects of greenhouse gases, but also land degradation, desertification, ozone depletion, water degradation, disruption of the nitrogen cycle and everything else that comes to mind. Besides discussing the negative human impacts on our climate system, this session also welcomes contributions that focus on positive effects resulting from for example sustainable energy production, climate-change-proof landscape design, or smart uses of ecosystem services. The effects of anthropogenic activities on the Earth system are notoriously difficult to quantify, as they affect natural processes on different temporal and spatial scales. This session therefore welcomes various contributions that try to solve these relevant questions in order to promote a diverse discussion across disciplines. If you want to contribute to this session by a presentation and/or a poster, subscribe here!
The keynote speaker for this session will be Markus Reichstein, the executive/managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, and the director of the department for Biogeochemical Integration. In July 2018, Markus Reichstein received the Piers J. Sellers award of the American Geophysical Union for his innovative approaches to quantifying and understanding the exchanges of carbon, energy and water between land and the atmosphere at the global scale. In his work, he especially focused on how these exchanges are affected by climate variability and human activity.