'Regional carbon budget for Europe' by Prof. Dr. Martin Heimann


Prof. Dr. Martin Heimann's short biography:

Prof. Dr. Martin Heimann is director at the Max-Planck-Institut for Biogeochemistry, member of the Max-Planck-Society and honorary professor at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany. Since 2013 he is also guest professor at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Over the last four decades Martin Heimann has worked on analyzing and modeling the global carbon cycle and its interaction with the physical climate system. Martin Heimann has received a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Bern in 1982. In 1982-1985 he worked as a research assistant at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California in the group of Dr. Charles David Keeling. Later he became a senior research scientist and workgroup leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. In 1998 he moved to the newly founded Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany.
Martin Heimann has authored and co-authored more than 200 papers in Earth System Science. He has been the coordinator of numerous national and European projects in global and regional carbon cycle research. Martin Heimann has been a lead author in Working Group I of the last four assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he is editor of several scientific journals, and review editor of “Science”.
He is an elected member of the Academia Europaea.

Prof. Dr. Martin Heimann's personal homepage

Lecture's abstract - 'Regional carbon budget for Europe':

Quantification of regional greenhouse gas budgets and their variations with space and time are of high interest because:

  1. they provide information on larger-scale sources and sinks and how they change with weather, climate and due to human impacts, and
  2. they are of critical importance for assessing and verifying the net effect of climate change mitigation measures by individual nations.

The lecture covers the current paradigm to quantify the greenhouse gas balance of a region such as Europe using the top-down method (based on atmospheric measurements and inverse modelling) and the bottom-up method (based on flux measurements in various ecosystems which are upscaled using remote sensing data of land cover). A primary focus lies on the available data streams for Europe, the methods and their uncertainties.
In the case of Europe particular challenges are posed by the large contribution from fossil fuel emissions, and the fact that most non-urbanized land areas are and have been heavily managed (e.g. agriculture, pasture, forestry). The first comprehensive approach to assess the European greenhouse gas balance has been achieved in the CarboEuropeIP EU project (2004-2008). Based on this experience, a European carbon observation infrastructure (ICOS, https://www.icos-ri.eu) has been established, which will provide long-term high quality and high density in situ observations of greenhouse gas fluxes and concentrations over Europe, covering land areas and the adjacent oceans. Complementing this in situ network, space based remote sensing measurements of the vertical column of CO2 and CH4 provide additional information. At this time, however, first greenhouse gas budget estimates based on satellite data give conflicting results compared to estimates based on the in situ observation network.
While the concept of ICOS primarily targets land and ocean greenhouse gas budgets from a basic science perspective, the present observing system and the associated modelling tools are not yet adequate for a robust quantification of individual national greenhouse gas budgets. Possible advances of how to improve space borne and in situ observations, as well as the modelling systems using data assimilation techniques will be discussed.

Recommended background publication on this presentation:

Schulze, E.-D., Luyssaert, S., Ciais, P., Freibauer, A., Janssens, I. A., Soussana, J.F., Smith, P., Grace, J., Levin, I., Thiruchittampalam, B., Heimann, M.,  Dolman, A. J., Valentini, R., Bousquet, P., Peylin, P., Peters, W., Roedenbeck, C., Etiope, G., Vuichard, N., Wattenbach, M., Nabuurs, G. J., Poussi, Z., Nieschulze, J., and Gash, J. H.: Importance of Methane and Nitrous Oxide for Europe’s Terrestrial Greenhouse-Gas Balance. Nature Geoscience, 2(12), 842-850, (2009). Doi:10.1038/ngeo686.