Thursday, February 13, 2020
Varsity Hall • Union South • map
4:00 - 5:30 PM
Bryson Poster Session and Reception
Keynote talk by Ankur Desai, Professor, Dept. of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, and Center for Climatic Research: "Last Breath of the Biosphere?"
Ecosystems store and release energy from the sun in carbon dioxide. This process occurs continuously over time among multiple species, and imprints in the air as the "breathing of the biosphere”. In the last century, humans have emitted, through combustion of fossil plants, nearly ten times the amount of carbon as taken up on net by terrestrial ecosystems, raising global temperatures and altering regional weather patterns. This is expected to continue into this century. How ecosystems respond to this change has vast implications for how climate changes and whether species adapt to these changes. Will there be a last breath of the biosphere? A number of experiments, both short and long term, in temperate and tropical forests, peatlands, lakes, and over crops tell a story of both retrenchment and resilience, sometimes in unexpected places. How can we use these studies to project the future of the biosphere and climate?