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COVID-19 impacts on the Earth System

COVID-19 crisis affects the entire Earth System in unprecedented ways and reveals systemic risks in our highly interconnected world

31-Jul-2020

COVID-19 immediately affects the health, economy and social well-being in our personal lives. Yet, the consequences on the entire Earth System, in particular the ones emerging from the widespread sheltering and lock-down measures, may be much more far-fetching and long-lasting. This has been ...

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Surprise from the jungle soil

Soil microorganisms in the Amazon rainforest can affect atmospheric chemistry

01-Aug-2018

The Amazon rainforest is the largest forest on earth. Its trees emit huge amounts of volatile substances that influence the chemical composition of the air. Some of these substances are the so-called sesquiterpenes, very reactive chemicals that can rapidly consume ozone. Until recently scientists ...

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Water as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

18-Jan-2017

Currently terrestrial ecosystems absorb about one quarter of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. However, how this land carbon sink will develop in the future is uncertain and strongly depends on the responses of ecosystems to climate. New clues on how the land carbon ...

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Extreme weather events fuel climate change

Extreme meteorological events and global warming: a vicious cycle?

15-Aug-2013

When the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere rises, the Earth not only heats up, but extreme weather events, such as lengthy droughts, heat waves, heavy rain and violent storms, may become more frequent. Whether these extreme climate events result in the release of more CO2 from terrestrial ...

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Anthropogenic nitrogen plays a double role in climate change

Increased nitrous oxide emissions from fertilised soils offset climatic benefits from carbon sequestration

05-Aug-2011

Human nitrogen additions to the soil may reinforce the greenhouse effect. Nitrogen additions tend to boost plant growth, so that terrestrial ecosystems absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But recent studies have shown that they also stimulate nitrous oxide release from the ...

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Intensive land-management leaves Europe without carbon sinks

A new calculation of Europe’s greenhouse gas balance shows that emissions of methane and nitrous oxide tip the balance and eliminate Europe’s terrestrial sink of greenhouse-gases

26-Nov-2009

Of all global carbon dioxide emissions, less than half accumulate in the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming. The remainder is hidden away in oceans and terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and peat-lands. Stimulating this "free service" of aquatic and terrestrial ...

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