Presentation on theme: "Northern Eurasia Climatic HOT SPOTS E.P. Gordov, E. Kollen*, M.V. Kabanov**, D Lalas***, V.N. Lykosov****, I.I. Mokhov*****, A.S. Shvidenko******, E.A."— Presentation transcript:
Northern Eurasia Climatic HOT SPOTS E.P. Gordov, E. Kollen*, M.V. Kabanov**, D Lalas***, V.N. Lykosov****, I.I. Mokhov*****, A.S. Shvidenko******, E.A. Vaganov*******, S.S. Zilitinkevich******** Siberian Center for Environmental Research and Training and Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems SB RAS, Tomsk, Russia * Stockholm University, Sweden, ** Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems SB RAS, Tomsk, Russia ***National Observatory of Athens, Greece, **** Institute of Numerical Mathematics RAS, Moscow, Russia, ***** Institute of Atmospheric Physics RAS, Moscow, Russia, ******International Institute for Applied System Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria ******* Institute of Forest SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, ********Helsinki University, Finland
OUTLINE Background Objectives Consortium Work Program Elements
Background The proposed interdisciplinary project is devoted to a better understanding of interactions between the ecosystem, atmosphere, and human dynamics in northern Eurasia under the impact of global climate change – in the line with the new IGBP regional, integrated Earth Science studies emphasis. It might be consider as quite a candidate for FP7 Integrated Project (if any) within Sustainable development, global change and ecosystem thematic area (Global change and ecosystems field).
Background and Justification The state and dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems in northern Eurasia and their interactions with the Earth's Climate system is one of the main concerns of number of national and international programs now. They are aimed at enhancing scientific knowledge and developing predictive capabilities to support informed decision-making and practical applications in this region. The proposed interdisciplinary project devoted to a better understanding of the interactions between the ecosystem, atmosphere, and human dynamics in northern Eurasia under impact of global climate change is consistent with the new ESSP regional, integrated Earth Science studies emphasis.
Northern Eurasia is a major player in the global carbon budget, particularly the boreal forests and peat lands, as circumpolar boreal forest systems alone contain more than 5 times the carbon of temperate forests and almost double the amount of carbon in the World's tropical forests. Climate warming induces natural terrestrial processes to release more carbon dioxide and methane, which is a particular concern in the boreal zone where more than 60% of the carbon exists as peat. Much of the peat is imbedded in permafrost, which may be melting. Additionally, a warmer boreal zone climate is resulting in more frequent and larger fires in all of the terrestrial ecosystems.
Reasonable models speculate that these effects could eventually lead to a "runaway greenhouse" scenario. Aforestation and reforestation may not help either, as recent research has shown that in large parts of Northern Eurasia, the decrease in surface albedo by forestation is as important as carbon sequestration in its forcing of climate. As a result, forest carbon sinks in these regions could exert a much smaller cooling influence than expected, or even exert an overall warming influence.
Northern Eurasia is a vast area about which relatively little is known in the Western scientific world, and as the region where temperature rise is expected to be the greatest, feedbacks to the atmosphere are potentially large. These effects create the possibility for large and significant biological, climatic and socioeconomically coupled land use changes throughout this region. Science issues for northern Eurasia are growing in global importance not only in relation to climate change and carbon, but also for aquatic, arid, and agricultural systems, snow and ice dynamics, and human health issues among others.
North Siberia belongs to the Arctic/Subarctic region which is recognized as the area of the world where climate change is likely to be largest. It is also an area where natural variability has always been large (ACIA, 2001). Permafrost, representing the solid phase of the hydrosphere, is an unique feature of this region. Changes in the extent and distribution of the permafrost have a positive feedback on climate, both on regional and global scales, and vice versa. There is a strong relation of climate changes to the river floods in permafrost basins.
Some of the potential effects include the way that water and energy are exchanged with the atmosphere, radiatively active gases are exchanged with the atmosphere, and freshwater is delivered to the Arctic Ocean. The International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP) reported in 2003 that the circumboreal region containing northern Eurasia is one of the critical "Switch and Choke" points in the Earth system, and proposed that what is needed for this region is a "glue" to fit multidisciplinary pieces of research together into a fully integrated, regional program.
Tundra and taiga are basic components of the terrestrial vegetation in North Siberia. Climate change modelling studies show a very strong response in the Arctic region in spite of the fact that climate forcing from greenhouse gases has a minimum at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (ACIA, 2001). It is now believed that this could be related to variations of the Arctic Oscillation which undergoes semi-chaotic variations with considerable amplitudes on longer time scales combined with strong regional ocean and land surface feedback processes.
Forests are important part of the global carbon cycle and regional/global hydrological cycle. Terrestrial carbon and hydrology budgets are closely linked together, so that a change in the atmospheric CO2, concentration affects the water balance of the land covered by forests. Change in the atmosphere circulation will affect forests more than other vegetation types because of their large aerodynamic roughness. The physiological effect of an increase in the CO2 concentration on plant photosynthesis and stomatal resistance is quite significant. Changes in the atmospheric circulation affect forests more than other vegetation types because of their large aerodynamic roughness.
Before industrial period, the uptake of CO2 by forests on a large regional scale was, in average, balanced by soil respiration, but there can be imbalances from year to year due to the natural climate variation and disturbances like fires. Over the last century, there have been alarming changes in climate - changes that have had major impacts on the boreal forest. These impacts are comparable with those caused by burning fossil fuels, and continued global climate change could cause severe and irreversible forest damage. To understand how CO2 might affect land surface – climate interactions, it is necessary to consider how vegetation might respond to CO2 directly and how this response may influence the water and energy balance of vegetated land surfaces.
Methane is another important trace gas, which is produced under strictly anoxic (anaerobic) condition. Such conditions usually occur in wetlands. Wetlands are the largest source for tropospheric CH4 and estimates cover a wide range between 50-150 Tg/year. Natural and cultivated wetlands represent approximately 40% of the sources of atmospheric methane (IPCC, 1994). The primary controlling factor has been shown to be water table height. Soil temperature also strongly affects the rate of methanogenesis and can significantly affects annual variations in methane emission rate. Despite the importance of CH4 emissions from wetlands, it is still unclear how these emissions will respond to global climate change.
The Boreal forests and peat lands cover large areas in northern Eurasia and are under threat from global environmental change and under markets pressure now. Compounding this issue is that internal funding for this region is not available for the local research community; therefore globally- critical research will not be done otherwise. For this region remote sensing is an essential data provider for global change science and policy (IPCC, Millennium Assessment, etc.), however it needs in support of local observations performed at key sites. This is the point where regionally located but internationally recognized research organizations, like Institute of Forest SB RAS (IF), Krasnoyarsk and Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems SB RAS (IMCES), Tomsk are contributing to study of the region with unique data collections, key sites equipped with infrastructure and monitoring facilities.
Successful modelling of trace gas emissions and of their response to climate variations requires an implementation of terrestrial biosphere model. Global climate models based on coupled atmosphere-ocean circulation models are probably most powerful tools for estimating future climate variations. Regional models are needed to address the all spatial and temporal scales to Northern Siberia Region impact. The finer spatial scales are particularly important for assessing extreme events and local impact. The regional model (ICMMG/SB RAS) is driven by global model (INM/RAS) with dynamic feedback mechanism. The regional models (MPI, LMD), which are driven by global models, can offer higher spatial resolution of potential future impacts than is currently offered by global models.
There is an immediate need to make regional observation data as well as model output data usable by environmental scientists and general public. It should be noted that nonspecialists in climate science may require assistance to be able to easily interpret output data from regional model simulations and assessment modelling. Proper organization of relevant regional information to be used in modelling efforts as well as proper linking data, models and environmentally important model outputs is on of concerns for the community. In the area of development of integrated computation-information support for regional climate modeling and environment assessment recent achievements of SCERT in design and development of environmentally oriented basic and applied Internet-accessible integrated information-computational systems might form a basis for the planned activity.
Objectives Understanding through better quantification of global and regional climate variability caused by feedback processes between atmosphere and biosphere under pressure of global change on boreal zone Its main objectives are: To gather and systemize available regional atmospheric and environmental data collections, and to prepare geographic information resources for Northern Eurasia areas under consideration To perform measurements of missing environmental characteristics especially those related to greenhouse gases (GHG) exchange between biota and atmosphere and make a step to monitoring of current natural and climatic variations in Northern Eurasia
Objectives To integrate basic and regional information resources required for regional climate modelling and environmental impact assessment into an Internet- accessible information system, thus giving an access to this valuable information to national and international professional community To develop mathematical models for GHG and water exchanges under varying climatic conditions accounting for specifics of land-atmosphere exchanges in Northern Eurasia (boreal forests, peat lands and permafrost)
Objectives To develop an integrated modelling regional climatic and environmental assessment system based on the models of particular physical processes forming regional climate and climate - environment interaction To get better quantification for dynamics and processes responsible for regional climate variability including feedback processes between atmosphere and biosphere as climate change drivers
Objectives To investigate (on this basis and under different scenarios for future emissions of greenhouse gases) the global climate change impact on the Siberian environment, in particular, to assess climate impacts on the land surface state and to provide regional interpretation of large-scale climate change estimations for the Siberian forest landscapes To pay special attention to extreme phenomena related to possible variations in the water exchange regimes like droughts (including assessing the forest fire hazard probability grows) and floods
Current Consortium Siberian Center for Environmental Research and Training Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems SB RAS, Tomsk, Russia Stockholm University, Sweden, National Observatory of Athens, Greece, Institute of Numerical Mathematics RAS, Moscow, Russia, Institute of Atmospheric Physics RAS, Moscow, Russia, International Institute for Applied System Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria Institute of Forest SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Helsinki University, Finland
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie – Germany Max-Planck-Institut fuer Biogeochemistry - Germany Potsdam Institute for Climate (PIK) – Germany Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique – France BADC, UK DMI, Denmark NERSC, Norway Institute Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics, Novosibirsk; Institutes of Geography SB RAS and RAS and Department of Geography of Moscow State University – Russia; CEPL and Institute of Forest RAS, Russia, Moscow; Far East group of Institutes - Russia List is not closed! Users and Supporters Boreas Machine planned IP, FSU – Pr. Dr. C. Schmullius, NASA- SB RAS NEESPI and a number of Russian research organizations and environment departments (Nature Resources Departments) of regional Administrations
Work Program Elements DATA It starts from gathering and systemization of available regional atmospheric and environmental data collections (including geo- information data) for Northern Eurasia. Monitoring of processes occurred at wetland and boreal forest sites aimed at gathering additional data and providing more solid background for modeling and understanding efforts. Gathered and systemized environmental data collections will be organized into modern DB, whose structure is based on developed for this domain ontology. DB could provide via Internet relevant data sets to be used in modeling as well as (together with developed GIS) in assessment global change impact on regional environment.
MODELS Special mathematical models of land-atmosphere exchanges (mainly GHG and water exchange) in Northern Eurasia (boreal forests, peat lands and permafrost) for under varying climatic conditions will be elaborated and together with developed information resources will form a basis for development of the integrated modeling regional climatic and environmental assessment system based on the models of particular physical processes forming regional climate and climate - environment interaction. GIS Data of observations should be mapped at relevant GIS (developers are Institute of Geography (IG), Irkutsk and IMCES). Also the data should be properly structured and open to the scientific community.
COMPUTATION-INFORMATIONAL PLATFORM This computational platform will be used to investigate on this basis the global climate change (under different scenarios for future emissions of greenhouse gases) impact on the Siberian environment. In particular, it will be used to assess climate impacts on the land surface state and to provide regional interpretation of large-scale climate change estimations for the Siberian forest landscapes. Special attention will be paid to critical phenomena, related with possible water exchange regime variations, like droughts (including assessing the forest fire hazard probability grows) and floods. Results of investigation will be made accessible at the developed Project web site.
POTENTIAL IMPACT The project Deliverables, which are GIS with additional layers; DB and the project website user Manual; Models and tools description and Memorandum on possible climatic extremes in Northern Siberia, should be of interest for professional research community as well as should form a solid basis for socio-economical prognoses for the territory and for elaboration of practical recommendations addressed to regional and national decision makers. The project might be quite significant step in realization of ESSP strategy towards Integrated Regional Study at the selected “hot spot” regions, which include Northern Siberia as well.
Conclusions The Project Work Program is a draft now and it should be made more strong in process of enlarging and refining the Consortium FP7 is now under preliminary discussion only. It is just a time for the community to start lobbing such project
P.S. Recently NASA and the Russian Academy of Sciences formally agreed to work together to develop a program of research that is called the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative, or the NEESPI (http://neespi.gsfc.nasa.gov). The mission of the NEESPI is to "... establish a program of coordinated research on the state and dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems in northern Eurasia and their interactions with the Earth's climate system to enhance scientific knowledge and develop predictive capabilities to support informed decision- making and practical applications.“ However internal limitations of NASA does not allow it to involve on proper scale regional research community, which is prerequisite for successful run of such program.