Prof. Dr. André Butz (Universität Heidelberg):
The Earth's carbon cycle - Deciphering man-made and natural processes with spectroscopic sensors
Atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane concentrations and their variability are controlled by both, man-made emissions and the processes of the natural carbon cylce. The latters is subject to climate feedback mechanisms that need to be understood on a quantitative level to allow for accurate projections of climate change. We develop and use spectroscopic sensors that can measure gradients of the greenhouse gases on local, regional and continental scales in the Earth' atmosphere. These gradients are informative on underlying uptake and emission processes and thus, they enable monitoring of man-made greenhouse gas emissions as well as evaluating carbon cycle processes in response to climatic drivers. Here, I will present recent progress in developing spectroscopic sensors for mapping greenhouse gases on facility and city scale, in deploying highly accurate greenhouse gas sensors for satellite and model validation, and in using satellite measurements together with ecosystem models to decipher continental-scale mechanisms in the biosphere.