Earth atmosphere and carbon cycle


Biogeochemical cycles play an important role in the evolution of Earth's climate. This especially holds for the carbon cycle. The understanding and prediction of past and future changes in Earth's climate therefore require adequate knowledge of the operation of this cycle and of its interaction with other cycles, such as the oxygen or the nutrient cycles (nitrogen, phosphorus). LPAP researchers have been actively involved in the study of the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, oxygen, sulfur (and many others) since the 1980s. Research work on the evolution of these cycles in the distant geological past and in the continental realm (terrestrial biosphere, weathering processes, etc..) is now pursued by our sister research group, the Unit for Modelling of Climate and Biogeochemical Cycles (Unité de Modélisation du Climat et des Cycles Biogéochimiques, UMCCB). At LPAP, we now focus on ocean-atmosphere and ocean-seafloor sediment interactions, which become important at time scales of several thousands to tens of thousands of years.
Our current research efforts mainly address scientific questions relating to the evolution of the carbon cycle at the time scales of the glacial-interglacial cycles of the Pleistocene, during some key events of the Holocene or in the future (including ocean acidification).
We develop our own models of the ocean carbon cycle, such as LOCH and MBM, and the sediment model MEDUSA. We use our models as well in autonomous, offline mode as coupled with more comprehensive models developed in collaboration with external partners (such as LOVECLIM). We furthermore contribute to the development of other models such as CLIMBER-2 and iLOVECLIM.
Finally, we are also actively in designing and implementing new algorithms and mathematical methods, in order to make the interpretation of or model results more robust, to improve reliability of our models and to extend their scope.

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