Department of Biogeochemical Systems                                                 


+ Ambarchik video
26 January, 2018

The Arctic is warming due to climate change. What are the consequences for greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? Friedemann Reum and Mathias Göckede from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry want to find out. They measure greenhouse gas concentrations in the air on-site - in the remote locality Ambarchik, at the Siberian coast of the Arctic Ocean. With their data they calculate how much carbon dioxide and methane escapes from the permafrost soils of the Siberian Arctic into the atmosphere.

Friedemann Reum and Mathias Göckede explain their research on permafrost in a remote locality in the Siberian Arctic in this new educational video on Youtube (English version/German version)

Photo courtesy Luke Griswold-Tergis/Martin Heimann

+ German Science Hour at COP23
10 November, 2017

Can we learn more about anthropogenic emissions through atmospheric measurements of trace gases like carbon dioxide? This was the question addressed on Thursday, November 9, 2017 by Julia Marshall, scientific group leader at MPI for Biogeochemistry, during a session at COP23. Alongside Werner Kutsch of the international Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) network and Gerhard Ehret of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), she presented at the “German Science Hour” on the topic “The Fate of Greenhouse Gases: the Knowns and the Unknowns”.

The German Science Hour is an event organized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) taking place daily at the German Pavilion during the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany. The German Science Hour aims at strengthening the science-policy dialogue at COP23 by presenting state-of-the-art climate research in an entertaining way.

Photo courtesy Friedemann Call/DLR Projektträger see press release

+ New Colleague
24 October, 2017

Hello! My name is Michał Gałkowski (but please feel free to call me Mike), and I’ve recently joined Airborne Trace Gas Measurements and Mesoscale Modelling group (ATM) as a post-doc. My tasks will be associated with the AIRSPACE project that aims at providing very detailed information on methane and carbon dioxide fluxes on regional scales, using the aircraft-based measurements and state-of-the-art modelling techniques applied at European emission hot-spots (like Silesian Coal Basin in Poland).

I’ve completed my PhD thesis in late 2015 at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków (also in Poland). In it, I focused on researching regional loads and emissions of nitrous dioxide using both measurement and modelling methods. During last two years I’ve continued to work at the University, focusing on studying the emissions and atmospheric transport patterns of other atmospheric pollutants, mainly CH4 and PM10. I am very much looking forward to this new adventure, especially since it fits so well with my scientific interests.

Privately, I love reading books and watching films. I also enjoy discussions about history very much, and I am always keen on learning new things. German language is at the top of my list now!

+ Workshop on building research at ATTO
16 October, 2017

On 4 and 5 October, we participated at the ATTO workshop hosted by the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA; Manaus, Brazil). The main objectives were to present current work related to the ATTO site and plan future joint research at and around ATTO.

The workshop participants agreed to produce a new science plan that integrates research on energy, water, aerosols, and greenhouse gases exchange between the central Amazon forests and the atmosphere, and explores the role of volatile organics and trace gases on cloud formation and atmospheric chemistry. Over the next 20 years, ATTO scientists aim at providing new knowledge on the role of the Amazon forest in the global climate system and its response to changing climate. see press release

+ We welcome Amir Hossein Abdi
15 September, 2017

Hello! I am Amir Hossein Abdi, an M.Sc. Environmental Science and Engineering graduate from Istanbul Technical University. I am currently doing my Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Julia Marshall on the project “Inverse Modeling of Atmospheric Methane Focusing on active remote sensing measurements.” Prior to my job in BGC, I worked on an air quality modeling project funded by Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council. In that job, I was performing the simulations by Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system and the emission processing over Europe and Turkey as the nested domain. I evaluated the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP)SO2 Emissions for Turkey using ground-based and satellite observations.

My other areas of interest include air quality modeling, atmospheric modeling, and trace gas remote sensing. In my spare time, I am most amused by history and biography reading, movies, card games, backgammon, and sports like climbing, swimming, skiing, and table tennis.

+ We welcome Xiaoyang Chen
14 September, 2017

Hello everyone! My name is Xiaoyang Chen. I am from Tianjin, China. I am very happy to work as a PhD student here. Before moving to Jena, I studied atmospheric science for my BSc, and meteorology for my MSc, both at Nanjing University of Information & Science and Technology(NUIST). My work has mainly concentrated on climate change over the Tibetan Plateau. I used a statistic downscaling method to project the temperature and precipitation under three RCP scenarios. I also studied the ocean-atmosphere interaction and the effect of Indian Ocean sea surface temperature on on the Tibetan Plateau precipitation.

I am now working in Jost Lavric's group, where I will be involved in the ATTO project. My research may focus on the greenhouse gas budget and its effect on the ecosystem. Sometimes I will also go to the Amazon for field work in the next three years.

+ We welcome Shujiro Komiya (Komi)
13 September, 2017

Hello everyone. I’m Shujiro Komiya and I’m from Japan. If you don’t mind, please call me Komi. Since last month, I have joined the Tall Tower Atmospheric Gas Measurements Research group as a new postdoc. In this research group, I will mainly work on atmospheric vertical profiles of water stable isotopes (δ2H and δ18O) at ATTO tall tower in Amazon forest to clarify how water is (re-)cycled in Amazon basin and forest canopy.

In my M.Sc., and Ph.D. studies at Meiji University in Japan, I developed a relaxed eddy accumulation (REA) system, and investigated methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) dynamics in rice paddy fields in temperate Japan and Thailand using REA or Eddy Covariance methods. I also studied air-sea CH4/CO2 fluxes over the Northern Pacific Ocean and Japan Sea using REA method. In my daily life, I love traveling, cooking and playing sports such as badminton, soccer, baseball etc. Now, I usually join MPI-Jena-Football, and enjoy playing soccer.

+ We welcome Martijn Pallandt
13 March, 2017

Hello everyone, my name is Martijn Pallandt. Last month I was welcomed to IPAS group of the BSY department formerly headed by Martin Heiman. Before moving to Jena, I used to live in the Netherlands where I studied biology/ecology for my BSc, and earth system science for my MSc, both at Wageningen University. In-between I made a little detour to the University of Groningen and the NIOZ for a minor in marine biology. After which I worked as a research at the Vrije University Amsterdam.

The complexity of natural systems and their myriad feedbacks is what drew me to ecology and earth system science. Particularly marine and arctic environments interested me as they are still some of the least understood environments on earth. My PhD research here will be part of the Integrated Arctic Observation System (INTAROS) project where I will focus on improving our understanding of the Arctic greenhouse gas budgets through the evaluation of the existing pan-Arctic atmospheric tower net work. Furthermore, I will contribute in upgrading the Ambarchik site with an automated flask sampling system.

In my free time I enjoy sports like bouldering, martial arts and on vacation skiing and scuba diving. Additionally I like games of all sorts: computer games, card games miniature games, you name it.

+ NASA ATom mission returns to Ascension Island
February 14, 2017

The NASA DC-8 aircraft arrived on Ascension Island yesterday. It was the 2nd visit during the NASA Atmospheric Tomography mission (Principal Investigator: Steve Wofsy, Harvard University). During the first visit in August 2016, the DC-8 already measured two profiles of CO2, CH4, and CO from ~12 km to the ground. These were used to check the calibration of the Ascension Island TCCON instrument vs. the WMO scale. A successful aircraft-calibration is a prerequisite to promote a TCCON station from "provisional" to "full" status. The DC-8 will stay on Ascension for one day and then continue on to the Azores. It will probably return to Ascension in October 2017. The data analysis on both sides will take about 6 months.

+NASA ATom mission - a global aircraft campaign
August 29, 2016

+ New Colleague
February 11, 2016

Hello everyone, my name is Sandra Bölck and I am the new PhD student in the permafrost research projects supervised by Mathias Goeckede and Martin Heimann. During my Bachelor I studied “Geographical Sciences” at the Freie University of Berlin, where I continued with my Masters programme in “Environmental Hydrology”. I conducted my master thesis in collaboration with the Leibnitz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin. My research focus was mainly on the transition zone between groundwater and surface water at an oligotrophic lake in northern Brandenburg (Lake Stechlin). Based on small-scale field measurements, multi-temporal and spatial pattern of chemical parameters such as nitrate, iron and chloride as well as of isotopic compositions of hydrogen and oxygen were analysed. Exfiltrating conditions at the study site could be proven by piezometer measurements (Darcy's law) and an electromagnetic seepage meter in order to estimate the impact of groundwater on the lake. In 2015, I was employed as a hydrologist at an environmental consultant agency in Cork, Rep. of Ireland. The application of the groundwater and transport model Visual Modflow to estimate the longevity and the extent of a contaminant plume was my main task. Furthermore, the visualisation, analysis and assessment of potential impacts on the environment were parts of my work. My current project is focused on the hydrology and its influences on the carbon cycle processes in the permafrost region around Chersky, Northeast Siberia. As core elements of my research, I am planning to study fine-scale patterns in water transport within our field site on the floodplain of the Kolyma River and quantify the lateral export of Carbon through a drainage system.

+ ATTO inauguration ceremony in the Brazilian rain forest
August 19, 2015

After one year of construction, the 325-meter-high measurement tower at ATTO will be officially inaugurated on Saturday, 22 August 2015. ATTO is a joint project between Germany and Brazil coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, the Brazilian National Institute of Amazonian Research, INPA (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia), and the University of the State of Amazonas, UEA (Universidade do Estado do Amazonas). In addition to representatives of these research centers, the Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Aldo Rebelo, the Governor of the State of Amazonas, José Melo, and representatives from the German embassy in Brazil will be traveling to the inauguration ceremony.

see press release

+ First successful test mission with greenhouse gas measuring instruments on board of HALO
June, 2015

A first test mission with the Jena Instrument for Greenhouse Gases (JIG) on board of the German High Altitude and LOng Range (HALO) research aircraft was completed successfully in May 2015. The mission was conducted to test an active remote sensing system measuring column abundances of CO2 and CH4, developed by the LIDAR group at the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics. This system is a so-called airborne simulator for the upcoming MERLIN (Methane Remote Sensing LIDAR Mission) satellite. MERLIN is a German-French climate mission, scheduled currently for launch in 2019. The airborne LIDAR system uses pulsed laser light, and detects the backscatter from the surface or from clouds as a function of time, providing path length information as well as absorption along the path. The goal of the mission was to evaluate the CO2/CH4 LIDAR with the in-situ observations made by JIG, which was originally designed for operation on board of a fleet of passenger aircraft within the ESFRI project IAGOS (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System). JIG uses Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) to measure the greenhouse gases CO2 and CH4 as well as CO and H2O. Measurements are referenced to WMO (World Meteorological Organization) calibration scales by means of in-flight calibration using compressed gas cylinders.

After a first test flight ensuring no interference of the measurement systems with the aircraft operation, the mission targeted areas with different surface characteristics to assess the impact on the LIDAR signal. Furthermore, different methane source areas such as the Po valley with intensive agriculture and livestock, and the Silesian coalmines in Poland, were overflown by HALO in order to evaluate the potential of the scientific payload for source detection and quantification. Both instruments performed well throughout the five flights, with a total flight time of about 20 hours. First preliminary data by JIG have been processed; LIDAR data processing is ongoing at the moment. Future missions planned for 2017 will use a payload augmented by passive remote sensing instruments and by flask a sampling system to allow for analysis of air samples for their isotopic composition, which further helps identifying specific processes contributing to GHG emissions.


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Mission Statement

Biogeochemical cycles are represented in the atmosphere by several important greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. In the Department of Biogeochemical Systems we develop methods to measure these gases in situ and by remote sensing, we expand the measurement network to remote hot-spot regions such as Siberia and Amazonia, and we develop and apply numerical models to quantify the large-scale sources and sinks of the greenhouse gases.