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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 3609

  Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
How scale-dependent are ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges?
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Ankur Desai, UW Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Abstract: Terrestrial surfaces are a lower boundary condition for exchanges of trace gases ,energy, and momentum with the atmosphere and consist of biologically-active organisms. In terrestrial ecosystems, information relevant to these processes scales upwards from gene to cell to microbe to plant, while for the atmosphere, the relevant modes of interactions with these processes scale downward from climate dynamics to synoptic systems to boundary layer turbulence. Consequently, identifying the appropriate space and time scale over which ecosystems interact with the atmosphere is critical for improving theoretical and numerical simulations of these processes. Further, there is a fundamental spatiotemporal scale mismatch between the terrestrial observations made about these process and the spatial scale over which numerical models of ecosystems, weather systems, and climate operate. I will present a general overview of this problem, a few examples of work in my lab addressing this issue from the perspective of 1) modeling spatial heterogeneity in ecosystem energy balance, 2) data synthesis for terrestrial carbon cycling, and 3) rectification of eddy covariance flux tower observation flux footprint bias. The overview and examples will be used to engage discussion in a general conceptual framework on ecosystem-atmosphere scaling and model-data comparison.
Host: Clint Sprott
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