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UNH researchers receive grant for pioneering carbon cycle model
Date:5/31/2011

DURHAM, N.H. -- Scientists Jingfeng Xiao and Scott Ollinger of the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) have received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the first round of competitively awarded grants for the agency's new Macrosystems Biology program. The grant will fund research to help quantify continental-scale carbon fluxes or so-called carbon "sources" and "sinks" in the long-term effort to craft more accurate climate change forecasts and facilitate climate policymaking.

The UNH research is based on a unique modeling method pioneered by Xiao, and will make use of very large sets of ecological data only recently available from study sites across North America.

Says Xiao, the project's principal investigator and a research assistant professor in the EOS Complex Systems Research Center (CSRC), "We will produce new-generation flux maps for North America to quantify ecosystem carbon fluxes. We hope to better understand the magnitude, distribution, and interannual variability of the carbon sink by using new data sets and new modeling techniques."

NSF's large-scale biology program, a first for the agency, is designed to spur research on ecosystem processes and their complex interactions with climate, land use, and invasive species at regional to continental scales. If the continental-scale carbon budget can be "closed," scientists will be in a better position to make climate forecasts, particularly with respect to year-to-year variability in the carbon budget caused by large-scale disturbances like droughts or forest fires.

The $517,000 award from NSF will fund the three-year project. Xiao's successful proposal results in part from pioneering work he has conducted over the last four years. Specifically, he has developed and refined a modeling method whereby data gathered at individual ecological "flux tower" research sites across North America can be "upsc
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Contact: David Sims
david.sims@unh.edu
603-862-5369
University of New Hampshire
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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