Max Planck Gesellschaft

Research Group: Integrating surface-atmosphere Exchange Processes Across Scales - Modeling and Monitoring

Mission Statement | Team | Current main projects | Publications | Collaborations | Former group members


Scales play an important role for the analysis and interpretation of climate-relevant feedback processes between biosphere and atmosphere. Particularly for highly structured domains such as Arctic permafrost landscapes, to accurately predict large-scale, long-term changes in ecosystem functionality, we need to investigate processes at fine-scales to understand the drivers of these changes. Also, new observational insight into links between ecosystem characteristics and carbon and energy processes needs to be assimilated into flexible modeling frameworks, ideally combining the individual advantages of different modeling philosophies.

Our working group integrates multi-disciplinary observational and modeling approaches, currently with a regional focus on Arctic permafrost landscapes. The monitoring techniques cover scales ranging from a few centimeters (e.g. soil cores) to thousands of kilometers (e.g. atmospheric trace gas mixing ratios), with a strong focus on atmospheric observations but also including disciplines such as hydrology and soil science. On the modeling site, the IPAS group customizes process-based biogeochemical models, data-driven statistical modeling and atmospheric inverse modeling techniques for application in high-latitude permafrost environments, with the overarching objective of combining their individual strengths, and assimilating the newly generated datasets.


Phone: +49.3641.57 - extension | E-mail: e-mail - at -

Name Position E-mail Phone Room
Mathias Göckede group leader mgoeck ..6301 A2.002
Fabrice Lacroix PostDoc flacro ..630x A2.008
Martijn Pallandt PhD candidate mpall ..6303 A3.002
Sandra Raab PhD candidate sraab ..6351 A3.002

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Focus areas

  • Focus #1: Investigation of carbon-climate feedbacks in high-latitude ecosystems. A core element of this line of research is a permafrost observatory that our group established in 2013 near Chersky, Northeast Siberia. At this site, we investigate with continuous observations the impact of a sustained drainage disturbance through multi-disciplinary observations (e.g. Göckede et al., GCB 2019). Additional Arctic observations include the atmospheric monitoring site Ambarchik and measuring grazing disturbance effects in the Pleistocene Park area near Chersky. New process insights are assimilated into process models (e.g. Castro-Morales et al., BG 2019) to improve projections of Arctic permafrost sustainability under future climate trajectories.
  • Focus #2: Methane observations and modeling across scales. On the observational side, we have placed a focus on developing quality assessment measures for methane flux observations, e.g. involving wavelet tools Göckede et al., BG 2019) and footprint modeling. Modeling focuses on constraining regional scale methane budgets with atmospheric inverse methods, with a particular emphasis on linking top-down and bottom-up modeling for the evaluation of process model performance. This research is embedded within the framework of an international working group on Understanding and Predicting Wetland Methane Emissions, coordinated by the USGS Powell Center.
  • Focus #3: Evaluation of Arctic atmospheric greenhouse gas monitoring networks. Our group has put together a metadata survey on the current status of Arctic eddy-covariance flux towers, flux chamber sites, and tall monitoring towers for calibrated atmospheric greenhouse gas mixing ratios, which is available as a web-tool hosted by NCEAS. Based on the site information, we evaluate the representativeness of the network of eddy-covariance flux towers to capture the variability in carbon fluxes across pan-Arctic ecosystems, and evaluate what signals related to current and future permafrost ecosystem disturbance could reliably be monitored by the pan-Arctic network of tall towers, in combination with atmospheric inverse modeling.

Main projects

The EU-funded INTAROS project (2016-2021) aims at developing an efficient integrated Arctic Observation System by extending, improving and unifying existing and evolving systems in the different regions of the Arctic. Our group contributes by assessing terrestrial greenhouse gas monitoring systems in the Arctic, adding new greenhouse gas observation infrastructure to fill critical gaps, and demonstrating the use of an integrated database through multi-disciplinary data assimilation to constrain Arctic carbon budgets at regional scales.

Group members involved: Mathias Göckede, Martijn Pallandt

The EU-funded Nunataryuk project (2017-2022) will determine the impacts of thawing coastal and subsea permafrost on the global climate, and will develop targeted and co-designed adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Arctic coastal population. Our group will contribute to efforts to connect research between the terrestrial, aquatic and coastal spheres, with a specific focus on the lateral export of carbon from a waterlogged permafrost ecosystem.

Group members involved: Mathias Göckede, Sandra Raab

The BMBF-funded KoPf project improves - based on observations and numerical simulations - the knowledge on the impact of climate and environmental change on permafrost carbon fluxes and the underlain processes. The terrestrial permafrost research is conducted in a close Russian-German cooperation with a focus on Siberia. Our group primarily works on the Siberian methane cycle, with a particular focus on atmospheric inversions to validate JSBACH fluxes simulated with the process model JSBACH at regional scales.

Group members involved: Mathias Göckede

The overarching aim of the DFG-funded CaSPer project is to constrain the net effect of competing processes linked to the availability of Silicon (Si) and Calcium (Ca) and their effect on Phosphoros (P) availability on the mineralization of natural organic matter in degrading permafrost soils, and quantify potential feedbacks with climate change. Our group will assimilate the new datasets provided by project partners into biogeochemical process models with the objective to improve the representation of (micro-)nutrient effects on permafrost carbon cycling under future climate scenarios

Group members involved: Mathias Göckede, Fabrice Lacroix

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Recent key publications

Göckede, M., Kwon, M. J., Kittler, F., Heimann, M., Zimov, N., Zimov, S. (2019). Negative feedback processes following drainage slow down permafrost degradation. Global Change Biology, 25(10), 3254-3266. doi:10.1111/gcb.14744.
Kittler, F., Heimann, M., Kolle, O., Zimov, N., Zimov, S., Göckede, M. (2017). Long-term drainage reduces CO2 uptake and CH4 emissions in a Siberian permafrost ecosystem. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 31(12), 1704-1717. doi:10.1002/2017GB005774.
Knox, S. H., Jackson, R. B., Poulter, B., McNicol, G., Fluet-Chouinard, E., Zhang, Z., Hugelius, G., Bousquet, P., Canadell, J. G., Saunois, M., Papale, D., Chu, H., Keenan, T. F., Baldocchi, D., Torn, M. S., Mammarella, I., Trotta, C., Aurela, M., Bohrer, G., Campbell, D. I., Cescatti, A., Chamberlain, S., Chen, J., Chen, W., Dengel, S., Desai, A. R., Euskirchen, E., Friborg, T., Gasbarra, D., Goded, I., Göckede, M., Heimann, M., Helbig, M., Hirano, T., Hollinger, D. Y., Iwata, H., Kang, M., Klatt, J., Krauss, K. W., Kutzbach, L., Lohila, A., Mitra, B., Morin, T. H., Nilsson, M. B., Niu, S., Noormets, A., Oechel, W. C., Peichl, M., Peltola, O., Reba, M. L., Richardson, A. D., Runkle, B. R. K., Ryu, Y., Sachs, T., Schäfer, K. V. R., Schmid, H. P., Shurpali, N., Sonnentag, O., Tang, A. C. I., Ueyama, M., Vargas, R., Vesala, T., Ward, E. J., Windham-Myers, L., Wohlfahrt, G., Zona, D. (2019). FLUXNET-CH4 synthesis activity: objectives, observations, and future directions. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 101(1), 2607-2632. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0268.1.
Kwon, M. J., Natali, S. M., Pries, C. E. H., Schuur, E. A. G., Steinhof, A., Crummer, K. G., Zimov, N., Zimov, S. A., Heimann, M., Kolle, O., Göckede, M. (2019). Drainage enhances modern soil carbon contribution but reduces old soil carbon contribution to ecosystem respiration in tundra ecosystems. Global Change Biology, 25(4), 1315-1325. doi:10.1111/gcb.14578.
Natali, S. M., Watts, J. D., Rogers, B. M., Potter, S., Ludwig, S. M., Selbmann, A.-K., Sullivan, P. F., Abbott, B. W., Arndt, K. A., Birch, L., Björkman, M. P., Bloom, A. A., Celis, G., Christensen, T. R., Christiansen, C. T., Commane, R., Cooper, E. J., Crill, P., Czimczik, C., Davydov, S., Du, J., Egan, J. E., Elberling, B., Euskirchen, E. S., Friborg, T., Genet, H., Göckede, M., Goodrich, J. P., Grogan, P., Helbig, M., Jafarov, E. E., Jastrow, J. D., Kalhori, A. A. M., Kim, Y., Kimball, J. S., Kutzbach, L., Lara, M. J., Larsen, K. S., Lee, B.-Y., Liu, Z., Loranty, M. M., Lund, M., Lupascu, M., Madani, N., Malhotra, A., Matamala, R., McFarland, J., McGuire, A. D., Michelsen, A., Minions, C., Oechel, W. C., Olefeldt, D., Parmentier, F.-J.-W., Pirk, N., Poulter, B., Quinton, W., Rezanezhad, F., Risk, D., Sachs, T., Schaefer, K., Schmidt, N. M., Schuur, E. A. G., Semenchuk, P. R., Shaver, G., Sonnentag, O., Starr, G., Treat, C. C., Waldrop, M. P., Wang, Y., Welker, J., Wille, C., Xu, X., Zhang, Z., Zhuang, Q., Zona, D. (2019). Large loss of CO2 in winter observed across the northern permafrost region. Nature Climate Change, 9(11), 852-857. doi:10.1038/s41558-019-0592-8.

Follow link for a complete list of publications by the IPAS group. back to top


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former Research Group members

Name Position
Burjack, Ina PhD candidate (- 2016)
Castro-Morales, Karel PostDoc (- 2019)
Kaiser, Sonja PhD candidate (- 2017)
Kittler, Fanny PhD candidate, PostDoc (- 2018)
Kwon, Min Jung PhD candidate (- 2016)
Reum, Friedemann PhD candidate (- 2019)

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