Summer School - LOAC Carbon Cycle

Dates: 22nd August - 2nd September 2016
Location: Peyresq, France
Local organisers: Pierre Friedlingstein, Pierre Regnier, Leo Rodrigues, Emily Mainetti-Cloarec



 SU group photo: all participants and some lecturers, P. Regnier (coordinator), P. Friedlingstein (training coordinator), Emily Mainetti (PM) and Leo Rodrigues (TM)

Summary of the Summer School:

The Summer School of C-CASCADES took place at the end of August 2016. It was an event spanning across the Work Packages 1-3 of the project itself with an overall large perspective encompassing all the scales (from pointwise to global) and all the approaches (from observations to modelling) involved in the comprehension of the carbon cycle. The main objective of the Summer School was on one hand to achieve a better quantitative understanding of carbon transformations and fluxes during lateral transfer along the land to ocean aquatic continuum (LOAC) and on the other hand provide the participants with a practical training focused on an up-to-date assessment and modelling of zonal carbon budget. During two weeks, 21 participants (the 15 Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) of C-CASCADES and 6 PhD students from outside the network) gathered together in Peyresq, in the mountains in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in France, to participate in this event. Mornings were focused on two expert lectures from senior scientists, afternoons on training sessions and evenings on knowledge transfer or progress reports.


The summer school began with an overview of the global carbon budget in a lecture given by Prof. Pierre Regnier (ULB, BE). The big picture provided, the following lectures focused on more specific aspects: the role of soil erosion by Prof. Kristof Van Oost (UCL, BE), the open ocean’s carbon cycle by Dr. Olivier Aumont (LOCEAN - UPMC, FR), the carbon transfer on land by Dr. Philippe Ciais (IPSL, FR), the gas exchange between ocean and atmosphere and model assessment by Dr. Peter Landschützer (MPI-MET, GER), the carbon cycle during glacial periods by Prof. Victor Brovkin (MPI-MET, GER), the burial of organic matter in marine sediments by Dr. Sandra Arndt (UBRIS, UK) and the importance of upwelling regions for the ocean carbon pattern by Prof. Nicolas Gruber (ETHZ, CH).
During the second week of the Summer School a special attention was then given to different regions of interest and hotspots: such as the Arctic Ocean by Dr. James Orr (IPSL, FR), the East Siberian Arctic Shelf by Dr. Bart van Dongen (University of Manchester, UK), the Tropics by Dr. Emanuel Gloor (University of Leeds, UK) and Europe, a highly human impacted area, by Prof. Martin Heimann (MPI-BGC, GER).  
A lecture given by Prof. Pierre Friedlingstein (UNEXE, UK), gave the participants some keys on how to communicate on climate change and how to keep a critical mind in science.
A last lecture held by Dr. Ronny Lauerwald (UNEXE, UK) described how riverine carbon transport can be modelled on a global scale.
Twenty minutes of questions/answers following each expert lecture, deepened the understanding about the work of the researchers and better appreciate their results. Modelling and fieldwork were finally equitably represented and gave the attendees a broader perspective of carbon transformations and fluxes.

Training sessions:

During the afternoons, after an introduction to the box model TOTEM (Terrestrial-Ocean-aTmosphere Ecosystem Model) by Dr. Katsumasa Tanaka (NIES, Japan), the participants performed practical exercises on this model, coordinated by Dr. Goulven Laruelle (ULB, BE) and Dr. Ronny Lauerwald (UNEXE, UK). The two mains tasks were : (i) to understand and modify the TOTEM model to study the Carbon cycle at different latitudes and (ii), to collect the accurate and up-to-date data concerning the carbon cycle at different latitudes.
Once data have been gathered, some first and preliminary simulations with the revised TOTEM Model on a zonal base have been performed, in order to have some trial runs and assess the capabilities and the limitation of TOTEM. These training sessions have been the beginning of a collective work among PhD students from different countries. They will continue to collaborate even after the C-CASCADES Summer School, aiming publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Knowledge transfer:

The evenings were mostly focused on transferable skills.
The 15 ESRs gave an educational presentation to the general public on climate change and carbon cycling in French entitled “Le changement climatique et le cycle du carbone”. It was a great success and the public showed a big interest asking lots of questions!
Two posters sessions allowed stimulating discussions about the works of the participants. From these sessions, news ideas concerning methods, analyses and modelling have been broached and future collaborations among the PhD students have already been planned.
Different punctual events were also proposed such as an afternoon training about paper and poster writing by Dr. James Orr and a lecture/visit about the village of Peyresq held by Jacques Berlo (ASBL Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc).

Field trip day:

During a field trip day (26th August 2016), all the participants of the Summer School (both PhD students and academics) visited the ‘Observatoire de Villefranche-sur-Mer’ where Dr. Jean-Pierre Gattuso (CNRS) gave a lecture about ocean acidification, how COP21 resolution practically affected the policy concerning ocean management and what is the plan towards COP22.
The group moved for a visit to the 'Centre Scientifique de Monaco' guided by Dr. Christine Ferrier-Pagès and Dr. Stéphanie Reynaud, with a tour focused on how climate change may affect coral reef life.
Finally, we were welcomed by Lina Hansson to visit to the Environment Laboratories of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Monaco, where radionuclides are employed for analyses and projects in the field of oceanography, population dynamics, toxicology and corals conservation. That is also the headquarter of the OA-ICC (Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre).

The Summer School of the C-CASCADES project resulted in an increase in the scientific and communication knowledge for all participants. Many topics and interesting discussions were touched and brought up as a source of possible collaboration among the attendees. A long-term project to propose a constrained zonal budget of carbon cycle at different latitudes within a global perspective has begun and this project, together with other collaborations and scientific debate, will continue further after the Summer School itself.  

written by Audrey Marescaux and Matteo Puglini

List of the participants:

1. Anna Canning (ESR1 - C-CASCADES) - KM Contros
2. Åsa Horgby (ESR2 - C-CASCADES) - EPFL
3. Jo Snöälv (ESR3 - C-CASCADES) - UNEXE
4. Anna Nydahl (ESR4 - C-CASCADES) - UU
5. Audrey Marescaux (ESR5 - C-CASCADES) - CNRS-IPSL
6. Marie-Sophie Maier (ESR6 - C-CASCADES) - ETHZ
7. Andreas Androulakakis (ESR7 - C-CASCADES) - Deltares
8. Domitille Louchard (ESR8 - C-CASCADES) - ETHZ
9. Jens Terhaar (ESR9 - C-CASCADES) - CNRS-IPSL
10. Matteo Puglini (ESR10 - C-CASCADES) - MPG
11. Adam Hastie (ESR11 - C-CASCADES) - ULB
12. Philip Pika (ESR12 - C-CASCADES) - UNIVBRIS
13. Andre Nakhvali (ESR13 - C-CASCADES) - UNEXE
14. Simon Bowring (ESR14 - C-CASCADES) - CNRS-IPSL
15. Fabrice Lacroix (ESR15 - C-CASCADES) - MPG
16. Alizée Roobaert - ULB
17. Anastasiia Ignatova - ETHZ
18. Antonin Verlet-Banide - Uppsala Universitet
19. Melissa Schwab - ETHZ
20. Pier-Luigi Segatto - EPFL
21. Annemiek Stegehuis - UMPC

List of lecturers: see the comprehensive program here