Senior researcher Andreas Ibrom explains why the land atmosphere interactions are important for the climate changes.
Global climate change is the most difficult environmental challenge humanity is facing. It is the greatest thread for sustainability; mitigation action forces us to not use the still abundantly available fossil fuel resources. Cutting down the use of fossil fuels for energy provision and transport but as well for food production hits our modern society at its heart. The section The Atmospheric Environment (AIR) at DTU environment undertakes field research in ecosystems that cerate natural resources and mitigate climate change by taking up more atmospheric carbon dioxide than they release. We investigate a beech forest and willow bioenergy short rotation coppice, representing the traditional and close to nature forest in Denmark and a new optimised perennial cropping system dedicated for biomass production. A core methodology is the eddy covariance technique that enables us to measure the fluxes of CO2, water and energy every 30 minutes, online and without any disturbance to the ecosystem. We have performed the continuous measurements now during 20 years in the beech forest and in 5 years in the willow plantation. The results show that the net CO2 uptake is 75% higher in the willow planation compared to the forest. Both system mitigate climate change and produce products that can either substitute fossil fuels or act as a quasi-permanent carbon storage. Our research is part of the European research infrastructure ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System, http://www.icos-denmark.dk/)
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