From the Ground up and Atmosphere Down: Studying the Carbon Cycle and Climate Change
Terrestrial ecosystems are a critical part of the Earth's climate system. As our population grows and places increasing demands on the planet's natural resources, these ecosystems are also the most vulnerable part of the climate system. Evidence suggests that human activities have not only modified atmospheric composition and the Earth's land surface, but also the Earth's climate. Such climate changes are potentially detrimental to our living environment and economy.
Given Canada's role as a signatory of Kyoto, there are many new issues that must be addressed by Canadian scientists. One of them involves the interaction between ecosystems and the atmosphere. As the Canada Research Chair in Ecosystem-Atmospheric Interaction, Dr. Jing Chen focuses on carbon cycle processes and how they interact with the atmosphere in both short-term and long-term time frames.
An internationally respected scientist with a background in meteorology, Dr. Chen is using a model that considers the interaction between ecosystems and the atmosphere, one that will be better able to quantify carbon stock changes. His research represents a fresh approach for scientists both within and outside Canada. By quantifying the changes in carbon stocks in various ecosystems, it could lead to useful results for predicting the climate in the future and be useful to Kyoto-related policy making.