The ocean is in constant exchange with other compartments ofthe Earth system, and plays a vital role in the elemental cycles of our planet. The AG Biogeochemical Ocean Modelling focuses on the biological and geochemical mechanisms that control the fluxes in marine elemental cycles, as well as their expected changes in future climate scenarios.
Central to the lab are two main areas that each reflect one direction of exchange between ocean and atmosphere:
- Uptake of substances, e.g. CO2, by the ocean: What are mechanisms of natural carbon storage today, and how will they evolve in the future? A focus is set on microbial interactions with dissolved organic matter in the ocean. These interactions control a major carbon reservoir of a size larger than terrestrial and marine biomass combined.
- Emissions of climate relevant trace gases from the ocean to the atmosphere: Which climate active substances are emitted where and in which amounts? A focus is set on the sulfur gases carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfide, that affect the radiative budget of the Earth.
Although the formation and degradation processes of trace gases and carbon reservoirs occur on microscopic scales: they affect elemental cycles on global scales. The AG Biogeochemical Ocean Modelling, thus, applies a variety of different numerical models from simple box models to Earth System Models, in order to investiage biogeochemical links in global elemental cycles.