Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System - an Overview

Goal of the module is an overview over the global Earth System, its major components (Atmosphere, ocean, land surfaces and cryosphere), their interactions through exchanges of energy, momentum and materials, and the major physical, chemical and biological processes controlling these exchanges. A special emphasis is given to the role of the global cycles of biogeochemical elements and their modifications in the context of global change.


1.  Prerequisites

Please indicate in the registration form if you can bring a laptop to the course (for the practical part). You will need the Wolfram Mathematica Player and a web browser. If you do not have a laptop available, we can lend you one if we know early enough.


2.  Overview

CourseCourse leadersDateLocationRegistration deadline
Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System -
an Overview
Susan Trumbore
Martin Heimann
June 19 - 25, 2014MPI-BGC
Room B0.002
June 17, 2014
a.m. (I)09:30-10:30
a.m. (II)11:00-12:00
p.m. (I)ca. 14:00-15:30
(will be defined in the morning)

L = Lecture, D = Demonstration, P = Practical, E = Excursion

Thursday   Martin Heimann
 a.m. (I + II)LIntroduction - Overview of Earth System - Components and processes in the Earth System (Atmosphere, Ocean, Land surfaces, Hydrological cycle, Cryosphere) - Fundamental scientific questions - Energy balanceMH
 p.m. (I)L + DExercises with simple energy balance model - Feedback calculus - Bifurcations and chaosMH
Friday   Martin Heimann
 a.m. (I)LBiogeochemical cycles I: Cycles of carbon and oxygenMH
 a.m. (II)L + DSimple carbon cycle modelMH
 p.m. (I)L + DBiogeochemical cycles II: Simple coupled carbon cycle - climate modelMH
Monday   Susan Trumbore
 a.m. (I)LPart I Some BGC basicsLink to notes
 a.m. (II)LPart II The Lithosphere and long-term convolution of climate and atmosphereLink to notes
 p.m. (I)LIsotopes as tools for studying global biogeochemical cyclesLink to notes
Tuesday   Susan Trumbore
 a.m. (I+II)LFinish with stable isotope problems
Biogeochemical Cycles of N, P, S, Fe: the highlights
Link to notes
Link to notes
 p.m. (I)L+DRadiocarbonLink to notes
Wednesday   Susan Trumbore
 a.m. (I)LMethane cycleLink to notes
 a.m. (II)L + DGlobal Change (plus extra from Martin Heimann)Link to notes
 p.m. (I)LExtra links: IMPRS Radiocarbon class. and Global Biogeochemical Cycles Course (long version, with references)

3.  Registration

Click here to register before June 17, 2014.


4.  Literature

  • Wallace and Hobbs, Atmospheric Science, Elsevier Academic Press, International Geophysics Series, v92, 2002, ISBN: 0-12-732950-1, 483pp.
  • Schlesinger: Biogeochemistry - An analysis of global change, Elsevier Academic Press, 1997, ISBN: 978-0-12-625155-5, 588pp.
  • Jacobson, Charlson, Rhode and Orians: Earth System Science, Elsevier Academic Press, International Geophysics Series vol. 72, 2000, ISBN: 978-0-12-379370-6, 527pp.

5.  Course material

Material of Martin Heimann

Extra links

Slides of Susan Trumbore


6.  Feedback

8 of 9 participants filled in the survey by December 9, 2014. Thank you very much! The survey results are available here. Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.


7.  Previous overview courses

Overview course, February 2013
Overview course, February 2012
Overview course, December 2010

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