Seminario: Towards a history of the global carbon cycle - 15 settembre 2015
Towards a history of the global carbon cycle|
Seminario di Helmut Weissert
15 settembre 2015, ore 10.30
Settima aula, Complesso di Santa Chiara, Alghero
Helmut Weissert affronterà uno dei temi più attuali legati al riscaldamento globale, quello dell’immissione nell’atmosfera di CO2.
Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Carbon cycle and greenhouse climate research can be traced back into the late 19th century, when J. Tyndall studied the capacities of the various gases in the air to absorb radiant heat, of gas molecules, when S. Arrhenius calculated the temperature rise caused by doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and when T. Chamberlin suggested that carbon dioxide changes contributed to changing climate in the geological past. At the time of beginning carbon cycle research Eduard Suess rediscovered the importance of the sphere concept in geological sciences. He coined the term “biosphere” for the space where life and physical environment closely interact. C-cycle research and biosphere research were combined in the evolving environmental sciences of the mid-20th century. Monitoring of atmospheric CO2 concentrations on Mauna Loa provided first convincing evidence that accelerated burning of fossil fuels had an impact on the global carbon cycle, on climate and, hence, on the biosphere. The investigation of the history of the carbon cycle and of co-evolution of the biosphere and climate became new research targets in earth sciences. Earth history provides lessons on biosphere’s response to carbon cycle and related climate perturbations on scales of a few 10^3 years up to millions of years.