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Critical issues in trace gas biogeochemistry and global change

Beerling, David J. and Hewitt, C. N. and Pyle, John A. and Raven, John A. (2007) Critical issues in trace gas biogeochemistry and global change. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences, 365 (1856). pp. 1629-1642. ISSN 1364-503X

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Abstract

The atmospheric composition of trace gases and aerosols is determined by the emission of compounds from the marine and terrestrial biospheres, anthropogenic sources and their chemistry and deposition processes. Biogenic emissions depend upon physiological processes and climate, and the atmospheric chemistry is governed by climate and feedbacks involving greenhouse gases themselves. Understanding and predicting the biogeochemistry of trace gases in past, present and future climates therefore demands an interdisciplinary approach integrating across physiology, atmospheric chemistry, physics and meteorology. Here, we highlight critical issues raised by recent findings in all of these key areas to provide a framework for better understanding the past and possible future evolution of the atmosphere. Incorporating recent experimental and observational findings, especially the influence of CO2 on trace gas emissions from marine algae and terrestrial plants, into earth system models remains a major research priority. As we move towards this goal, archives of the concentration and isotopes of N2O and CH4 from polar ice cores extending back over 650 000 years will provide a valuable benchmark for evaluating such models. In the Pre-Quaternary, synthesis of theoretical modelling with geochemical and palaeontological evidence is also uncovering the roles played by trace gases in episodes of abrupt climatic warming and ozone depletion. Finally, observations and palaeorecords across a range of timescales allow assessment of the Earth's climate sensitivity, a metric influencing our ability to decide what constitutes 'dangerous' climate chan-e. 0

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: atmospheric composition ; climate change ; methane ; isoprene ; ozone ; palaeoclimates ; CARBON-ISOTOPE EXCURSION ; EOCENE THERMAL MAXIMUM ; ISOPRENE EMISSIONS ; METHANE BUDGET ; ATMOSPHERIC METHANE ; COLUMN OBSERVATIONS ; POSITIVE FEEDBACK ; CLIMATE-CHANGE ; NITROUS-OXIDE ; SURFACE OCEAN
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 26622
Deposited By: Prof CN Hewitt
Deposited On: 10 Jun 2009 11:29
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 08:19
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/26622

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