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GREENCYCLES Biogeochemistry and Climate Change Research and Training Network


Second GREENCYCLES MC-RTN Network Meeting Minutes

15th - 18th February, 2006
Lisbon, Portugal

Host: José M.C. Pereira, DEF, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Tapada da Ajuda 1349-017, Lisboa

Meeting Venue: Vila Galé – Hotel Opera

Action items

Andrew Help Stephen to establish contact with the group in Bialystok
Andrew Identify potential organisers for the GC supercomputing workshop
Anne/Andrew Clarify the budget from which ES4 and ERCA are paid
Alcatel Organisation of the remote sensing workshop in Sept/Oct 2006, but without clash to ES4! JRC is interested in joining the WS (contact via Sandy)
Maciek Inform Andrew about the potential for a network meeting in Poland, including the organisational details. Barcelona will need to know by April.
Nicolas Inform Andrew about the detail options for a supercomputing WS that Corinne may know about
Sandy Contact Andrew about the requirement of timesheets in the financial reporting (to be clarified with PM)
Sönke Send template for GC-website personal pages to all ESRs and ERs, "update" links site
Stephen Send details on data assimilation WS in Edinburgh to CEA
Torben Send parameters measured in Abisko to VAU, CEA, MetOffice and UBRIS to inform modellers about potential model-data comparison
Torben Organisation of the GC methane workshop
All Give feedback to Sandy on recruitment activity and potential ways to improve the system
All Send information relevant to local opportunities on science communication to the greater public to Soenke for the GC webpage. Likewise, any other communication and outreach info (workshops, conferences, publications…)
all ERs and ESRs Update CDP plans and send updated info on secondments to Sönke and Andrew
Anne? Organise a special issue of the ILEAPS newsletter and contributions to SOLAS newsletter.
Important deadlines:
  The next report is due 45 days after new year: 14th Feb. 2007
Send activity report to CEA before the 22nd December 2006
Send Finance report to CEA before 31st of January 2007
Read more on (click here for printer friendly version):
Wednesday, February 15th
Background and Status
Science Objective 1: Quantifying feedbacks in the global carbon cycle
Science Objective 2: Determine the effect of land use on climate
Science Objective 3: Improve understanding of natural sources of CH4 and their responses to human activities
Science Objective 4: Quantifying impacts of climate change and climate variability on fire-induced emissions of greenhouse gases
Thursday, February 16th
Science Objective 5: Quantify impacts of climate change on terrestrial and oceanic biogenic emissions of aerosols and chemically active gases and their effects on tropospheric chemistry
Science Objective 6: Quantify impacts of vegetation and climate changes on atmospheric dust and its feedbacks to CO2 and climate
Open discussion on model coupling
Open discussion on methane
Open discussion on fire
Open discussion on remote sensing and Alcatel's links to GC
Open discussion on the marine carbon cycle
Open discussion on the terrestrial carbon cycle
Friday, February 17th
Next Annual Meetings
Networking issues
Group photo

Wednesday, February 15th
  Background and Status  

Introduction to the logistics of the meeting


Overview of the administrative background of the network, introduction of the individual partners, especially the non-contractual collaborators. These are to be included into the science, but this is not fixed in the contract (only mentioned in Appendix A). It is possible to add other full partners, as the project goes along, but the total budget cannot be changed. Potential new partners could be invited to meetings, but there is no obligation to do this.

Science objective: understand the role of biological system in the global climate system and the impact of human activities. Reduce uncertainty in climate change prediction, by quantifying and reducing the uncertainty in biogeochemical feedbacks of both oceans and land. Themes: carbon dioxide, fire, landuse, methane, dust, DMS and BVOCs. Thread themes together: new developments in ESMs, improve realism of biological feedbacks

Training objective: link ESRs and ERs, industrial partnership, summerschools, Transfer of Knowlegde

  Nicolas: asks about the contribution of Alcatel, Dust and aerosols.  
  Sandy: secondments need to better defined, no real clue about project will develop when in the planning state – all of us now have to define now, how these should best be organised and timed to suit there needs! Should be as concrete as possible, and effective -> need really to pay off.  
  Andrew: secondments are required, but not forced  
  Allen: What does Alcatel do?  
  Andrew: Not yet specified. Reports on the telecom with Alcatel in January. Alcatel don’t have data sets on their own, but are keen on getting involved in downstream activities from "their" satellites. For this they need to understand the sciences their sensors are used for to target future missions. Interested to look for needs so that they can investigate possible solution.  
  Allen: working with remote sensed data, little experience in processing these data, could we learn about this?  
  Maciek: This is his reason to go there, just for info seems a waste of time  
  Andrew: Idea is collaboration with industry, must be useful for project in some way: There is no contractual obligation for a definite period.  
  Sandy: need to discuss this here and now. Sandrine had been in contact with Jose and Allen to discuss the first two projects (Yannick and Allen).  

Recruitment report:

Targets: 5 Experienced researchers, 12 Early stage researcher that should aim for a PhD, but this is no formal obligation… Criteria for selection are demonstrated scientific excellence, to be the potential leaders in this field, background a large diversity, origin from less-favoured-regions.

Status: 3 of 5 ER, 11 out of 12 ERS. All excellent, equal gender, 8 of 14 scientists from lessfavoured regions. The problem seems to be to keep the women in the business (all ERs hired so far are male). Wide range of countries of origin. Despite large intake of female ESR, still unresolved problem of retaining women in science: related to mobility, family, etc.. Perhaps need to look more carefully of family status and its effects. Need key data/info. Discuss with EC. There are deep psychological reasons why families find it hard to move to other countries.

Explanation of the functioning of the recruitment board

3 position left to fill
• ESR II, MetOffice, half of the candidates already interviewed, to start in April
• ER III, PIK, just started interviewing to start later than March
• ER V, UBRIS just started selection procedure, position to start in October.

To get the best takes time, hence there has been a delay for nearly all position (up to 6 months). Timing and purpose of secondment need to rethink and reschedule, as well as time budget for courses needs to be thought about, as the scientists are now hired, to fit the schedules for the ESRs and ERs. Advice on recruitment to the EU: Time to achieve criteria demands more time than foreseen.

Suggestions to improve this? All to give feedback to Sandy.

  Science Objective 1: Quantifying feedbacks in the global carbon cycle  
  Title: Terrestrial ecosystem processes modelling and global feedbacks
ER I: Sönke
  Sergey: N stuff is very brave, what kind of validation data?  
  Sönke: Fluxnet, N2O fluxes are rather local, 4 FACE experiments  
  Allan: constraints by N on C uptake? Will be very different in N limited systems such as in S. Africa.  
  Dorothee: Atmospheric inputs?  
  Sönke: Will use industrial inputs eventually, but not initially.  
  Allan: fire in this project may be an important link to other groups  
  Title: From physiology to PFT: Functional representation of N2 fixation in a Dynamic Green Ocean Model
ER II: Nicolas
    No CDP, because this is expected to change soon in response to the recent research results.  
  Sergey: are there major differences between terrestrial and ocean nitrogen cycle?  
  Nicolas: not in principle, same processes involved. Can take evidence from terrestrial sources to constrain marine processes  
  Dorothee: potential reason for decoupling of P and N resulting from a lack of iron?  

Title: Ecosystem processes in Mediterranean and mountain zones
ESR I: Raquel

    Supervisor: Andrew Friend, LSCE  
    Could use shrub parameterisation from Sarah Shannon.  
  Stephen: most models perform badly in Mediterranean systems, hence work on this useful to the community.  

A PhD student of Ben Smith has been working on Mediterranean shrublands within the landscape version of LPJ.

Allen suggests an IDL course in Apeldoorn, NL.

  Title: Hotspots, ER3 Alberte reports on this position:  
    Tasks of the ER3:
  • Identify key processes in key regions + ecosystematic feedback
  • Missing processes in LPJ
  • Possibility of change in face of driving force
  • Land-use change

Key regions are boreal forest, Amazonia rainforest, Sahel, South Africa (aridification), India (population), China (population)

The ER is to work with offline models. First project is Amazonia (in collaboration with the German TRACES project (tropical Atlantic ecosystems).

Ideas for the work: benchmarking from field, flux and satellite data to improve many processes, e.g. phenology, respiration and soil stocks, fire dynamics in connection for ENSO, DOC export and river outgassing, nitrogen cycle, land-use practises, shifting cultivation, problem of degrading soil conditions under shifting cultivation.

  Sönke: Who is going to do the nitrogen coupling in LPJ? (unclear)  
  Andrew: big leaf model and plant physiology addressed by ER3?  
  Pierre: Long term dynamics: how do you test the model in the long-term.  
  Stephen: there are drought experiments in tropics. You can see mortality from induced drought.  
  Allen: Climate data for Amazon?  
  Alberte: CRU, but now in contact with Mahli in Univ. Edinburgh. Use, but not enhance climate data to test site level model performance.  
  Allen: CRU is relaxing precipitation where no data available, Impairing on the applicability of the data.  
  Title: The Marine carbon cycle and air-sea fluxes of CO2 in the North Atlantic,
ESR IV: Maciek
    Supervisor: Dorothee Bakker, Andrew Watson, UEA  
  Sönke: Problem with process identification in ANN limits usefulness of approach to inform modellers.  
  Dorothee: If the ANN allows to construct temporal and spatial patterns of pCO2 in top-layer is already a very important step.  
  Jose: Rule methods can be used to constrain the neural network and make the effect size of input data on output variability clear. An example are regression trees to identify causal mechanisms.  
  Dorothee: however, regression analysis do not identify the processes, there is then the need for modelling as well.  
  Allen: Martin has a student on neural networks in Jena, who will be finishing relatively soon.  
  Title: Global Atmospheric CO2 remote sensing data assimilation system,
ER VI: Valentina
    Supervisor: Martin Heimann
Day to day supervisor: Christian Rödenbeck.
    To start beginning next week, details and CDP not yet discussed. Does Martin has definite plans? Links to inversions?  
  Han: project very broad, try and convince Martin to get a more precise idea what to do very quickly.  
  Title: Ecosystem physiology and carbon/water dynamics,
ESR VIII: Trevor

    Supervisor: Santi Sabate  
  Sandy Disappointed that results of Niimets and Guenther are similar.  
  Trevor But they are calibrated against the same data… have plans to add processes for future simulation, e.g. CO2 increase.  
  Sandy interannual variability of Guenther is more pronounced then Niiments? Correct?  
  Trevor: really preliminary results.  
  Andrew: Proportion of C uptake lost to BVOC?  
  Trevor: Varies up to 100% on daily basis, but on the annual basis 2-3% (for the unique experiment done, species dependent), locally up to 10%.  
  Trevor globally from Orchidee 1-2%  
  Andrew initial idea of the ESR project more on carbon-hydrology interactions in modelling, now more emissions – not sure how appropriate the originally planned secondments will be?  
  Trevor BVOC is only introduction to the model/modelling [only the first year]. The focus will shift toward the original plan after this phase.  
  Torben Other GC projects have research on BVOC as well. ESRVIII should be coordinated with research of the ESR at the MetOffice, who will be working on BVOC.  
  Stephen Trevor's work could be complementary since he is working more on the processes, whereas MetOffice ESR is going to work more on the climate effects.  
  ?? Should link to Bialystock group. Water interactions and link to fieldwork?