Harvard Earth and Planetary Sciences Visiting Scholar 2018

We have the pleasure of welcoming Prof. Ralph Keeling as the EPS Visiting Scholar from April 2-4, 2018. Every year the graduate student community has the opportunity to invite a visiting scholar to join the department for an extended stay to give a colloquium, lead seminars, and meet with the members of the department.

Below is the schedule for his talks and a discussion. All members of the EPS community are welcome to attend these events. For more information please contact the organizers at right.

A perspective from four decades of studying the land carbon sink. Are we entering a jungle world?

Monday, April 2, 12-1pm. Lunch provided.
Location: Haller Hall, Geology Museum 102

Roughly 25% of the excess CO2 from fossil-fuel burning is being absorbed by land plants, as part of a “land carbon sink”. Typically the concern is raised that this sink may eventually turn into a source driven by climate warming, releasing additional CO2 into the atmosphere and exacerbating climate warming. Here I emphasize another possibility: that the sink may stay strong for many centuries into the future, associated with major changes in plant ecology and the functioning of the land biosphere, including an extraordinary accumulation of biomass.

Atmospheric constraints on changing global biogeochemistry

Tuesday, April 3, 4-5pm
Location: Geology Museum 375 (enter from the climate exhibit in the Museum)

This talk will cover insights from the study of long-term trends in atmospheric CO2, O2, and CO2 isotopes. In addition to documenting the evolving land and ocean carbon sinks, these data also resolve other emergent phenomena, including major changes in the seasonal cycling of CO2, ongoing loss of O2from the oceans (“ocean deoxygenation”), and global-scale reductions in the water-requirements of vegetation.

Round Table and Discussion

Wednesday, April 4, 2-3pm. Refreshments provided.
Location: MCZ 429, Harvard University Center for the Environment (small seminar room)