Jun 30, 2017

Research scientists at the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are once again assembling sessions at this year’s AGU 2017 National Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, December 11-15. Session topics range from biogeochemistry to Earth science data to the energy-water nexus.

Check out the sessions listed below, submit an abstract or just come listen to the presentations in December.


B074: Tropical forests under a changing climate

Session ID Number: 25581

Session Description:

Tropical forests comprise the most biologically diverse terrestrial ecosystems, cycle more carbon and water than any other biome, and play critical roles in determining Earth’s energy balance.   Thus a better understanding of tropical forest processes is required to develop improved Earth System Models (ESMs).  Improving representation of these processes in ESMs requires a tight coupling of model development and process-based field and lab investigations.  This session will focus on research in tropical forests from an Earth system perspective including modeling, remote sensing and measurement results.   Processes to be highlighted include the response of tropical forest ecosystems to (i) extreme weather events (e.g. drought, heat waves, and extreme rainfall), (ii) changing disturbance/demographic/ rainfall/warming/CO2 rates, (iii) climate variability (e.g. EL Niño), as well as (iv) the role of biodiversity and biogeochemistry in modulating these processes, (v) forest-atmosphere feedbacks, and (vi) biogeochemical cycles.

Primary Convener:  Robinson I Negron Juarez, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, United States

Conveners:  Kolby Jardine, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Berkeley, CA, United States, Jiafu Mao, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States and Jacquelyn K Shuman, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States

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B063: Soil Carbon Dynamics at Broad Scales: Linking Mechanistic Knowledge to Broad-scale Applications

Session ID number: 25282

Session Description:

Soil carbon is a key component of biogeochemical feedbacks within ecosystems, as well as climate feedbacks on regional to global scales. Soil carbon dynamics are often studied on fine spatiotemporal scales but the climate implications of these dynamics are typically on coarse scales. Thus, a critical challenge in soil carbon science is to scale process-level understanding to management- or climate-relevant applications.  This session welcomes contributions that focus on broad-scale soil carbon dynamics (regional to global or decadal to millennial scales). We invite empirical, modeling, meta-analytical or review studies as well as studies harnessing ‘big data’ in soil carbon science, including those using data from research networks such as International Soil Carbon Network (ISCN), Critical Zone Observatory Network (CZON), National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), etc.  We also welcome contributions bridging mechanistic understanding of soil carbon to broad-scale applications such as soil health, management best practices, climate mitigation, etc.

Primary Convener:  Avni Malhotra, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States

Conveners:  Timothy R Filley, Purdue University, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, West Lafayette, IN, United States;  Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, University of California Merced, Merced, CA, United States; and Jennifer W Harden, USGS Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, United States; Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States

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H034: Coupled Biogeochemical and Hydrological Processes in Permafrost-Affected Landscapes

Session ID number: 29401

Session Description:

The strong coupling between biogeochemical processes and hydrological flow and transport in permafrost environments is an important consideration for developing an integrated understanding of carbon and nutrient turnover and mobilization (including hydrologically driven imports and exports). Disturbances such as permafrost degradation and wildfire make an integrated understanding even more necessary, because disturbance can impose strong feedbacks between biogeochemical, hydrological, geomorphological, and plant processes. This session intends to bring together researchers involved with biogeochemical and hydrological studies in permafrost-affected systems to examine the breadth of critical zone function and to explore how coupled processes control spatial- and temporal-variability from micro-topographic to watershed scales. Studies that examine how hydrological flow and transport characteristics affect biogeochemical cycling are especially welcome.

Primary Convener:  Joshua C Koch, USGS Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK, United States
Conveners:  Ylva Sjöberg, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; USGS Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK, United States, David E Graham, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge, TN, United States and Jeffrey M Heikoop, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos, NM, United States

Session Viewer Link:   

Co-Organized with: Hydrology, and Biogeosciences



GC069. Science at the frontier: Using multi-method research to create new knowledge and assess tools across spatial and temporal scales 

Session ID: 26818 

Session Description:

Within a given research approach – for example, remote sensing, field experimentation, modeling – science promotes the continued advancement of tools and techniques. Less often, however, do we simultaneously use multiple approaches to address a research question or to assess the utility of approaches across spatial and temporal scales. Nonetheless, there is substantial power in integrating distinct approaches, particularly for research associated with the multifaceted nature of ecosystem responses to global change. In this session, we will i) explore novel ways in which distinct approaches have been combined to enhance our understanding of complex ecosystem processes, and ii) evaluate the strengths/weaknesses of varied approaches for different processes and scales. As technical advancements continue at an unprecedented rate, new opportunities for integrated, multi-approach research emerge, which could more effectively capture the mechanisms and patterns that drive ecosystem structure and function, particularly in the context of global change.

Section/Focus Group: Global Environmental Change 

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William Kolby Smith, University of Arizona, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Tucson, AZ, United States; Sasha Reed, U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, Moab, UT, United States; Stan D Wullschleger, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States


IN019: Data and Tools for Knowledge Discovery around the Energy-Water Nexus

Session ID#: 23772

Session Description:

Energy and water generation and delivery systems are inherently interconnected and are directly influenced by human activity and economic growth. Environmental, socioeconomic, and demographic scenarios informed by diverse datasets can lead to understanding of energy and water system vulnerabilities. This understanding can in turn inform new technology solutions as well as infrastructure planning decisions. Through case studies and innovative uses of data, algorithms, and visualization, this session will explore identification of future stress scenarios and insights into complex interdependencies. From this session, we hope to identify common sets of data, tools, and principles that support the next generation of knowledge discovery and illuminate solutions for the energy-water nexus.

Primary Convener:  

Jibonananda Sanyal, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States


Melissa R Allen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States, 

Robert S Chen, Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States and 

Bonita Singal, Department of Energy Washington DC, EPSA, Washington, DC, United States

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IN050. Quality and Trustworthiness of Earth Science Data

Session Number: 26458

Session Description:

Earth science data quality and trustworthiness remain a big challenge with the growing diversity of datasets, the expanding needs of the scientific community, and scrutiny by public decision/policy-makers. Comprehensive, standardized, and accessible quality information, e.g. uncertainty, lineage and provenance, and complete and contemporaneous metadata/documentation is key for the trustworthiness of Earth science data. Researchers and public users need to efficiently find, access, and evaluate the quality level of Earth science data against their needs. Papers in this session cover topics on quality and trustworthiness of Earth science data, including: best practices for improving the capturing, describing, availability, and usage of Earth science data quality; assessment, characterization, and expression of data uncertainty, accuracy and precision; quality indicators for users to intuitively judge data quality; applications that manage and leverage quality information to improve user experience on data discovery and assist users to evaluate the fitness-for-use of Earth science data.

Primary Convener:  Yaxing Wei, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States

Conveners:  Steven J Worley, National Center for Atmospheric Research, CISL/DSS, Boulder, CO, United States and Ge Peng, Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States 

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B029. Extreme Weather Events and Ecosystem Function - Using Experiments and Modeling to Provide Ecological Foresight

Session ID#: 23234

Session Description:

Extreme weather events are increasingly becoming a concern due to their abrupt impacts on ecosystem function. Short-term extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts, ice storms, or sudden freeze events can profoundly impact terrestrial plants and ecosystem functions by pushing co-occurring plant species beyond critical response thresholds, leading to novel species assemblages and altered biogeochemical or hydrological cycling. Current land surface models perform poorly in simulating ecological impacts of extreme weather events based in part on limited understanding of mechanistic processes during and after such events. We invite presentations that highlight and advance knowledge of plant responses to extreme weather events. Observational and experimental laboratory, mesocosm or field based studies, modeling from field to Earth system scales, and integrated multidisciplinary approaches are welcome. Talks will explore the current state of knowledge, identify physiological knowledge gaps, inspire advanced experimental and modeling approaches, and stimulate discussion on future research directions.

Primary Convener:  Jeff Warren, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge, TN, United States

Conveners:  Anirban Guha1Andrew Jennings Felton2 and Daniel M Ricciuto1, (1)Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge, TN, United States (2)Colorado State University, Biology, Fort Collins, CO, United States

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B057. Plant-Soil Interactions in the Rhizosphere:

Experimental and Computational Advances

Session ID#: 22837

Session Description:

The rhizosphere is a critical element in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (SPAC) with influences far beyond its microscale origins.  Formed as a result of root physical growth through the soil profile and root exudates, the rhizosphere sustains a structural and chemical environment favorable to microbes, bacteria, and mycorrhizae. These microscale communities significantly alter soil structure, moisture, hydraulic conductivity, and root-soil exchanges, with and macro/field-scale consequences on plant growth and development, soil biogeochemistry, soil-water dynamics and agricultural stability.  We invite presentations that highlight and advance the coupled micro/macroscale processes and functions of the rhizosphere. Field, laboratory, advanced imaging and modeling studies from the micro- to macroscale are welcome - topics taking an integrated and cross-disciplinary approach are highly encouraged.  The goal of this session is to create an interdisciplinary forum through which plant scientists, ecologists, soil scientists, biogeochemists, and microbiologists can investigate coupled biophysiochemical processes highlighting the myriad activities of the rhizosphere.

Primary Convener:  Keita F DeCarlo, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, United States

Conveners:  Jeff Warren, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge, TN, United States, Hassina Bilheux, Oak Ridge National Lab, Oak Ridge, TN, United States and Kelly K Caylor, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

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B004: Advances in Uncertainty Assessment and Reduction for Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Diagnosis and Prediction.

Session ID#: 24868

Session Description:

Quantifying and reducing uncertainty in diagnosed and modeled carbon fluxes and stocks is a major challenge for the carbon cycle science community. Uncertainty in regional- to global-scale diagnoses limits our ability to test and develop accurate prognostic carbon cycle models, a major source of uncertainty in projections of future climate. However, recent advances in observations, ecosystem experiments, data assimilation techniques, and scientific computing have improved diagnostic and prognostic skill in carbon cycle science. We invite submissions that (1) investigate uncertainty in model forcings, parameters, or structure and the resulting uncertainty in diagnosis and/or predictions; (2) quantify and reduce uncertainty using benchmarking datasets and model-data integration; and (3) document new process understanding, observations, experiments or datasets that will advance this field. We welcome innovative work from all means of studying the terrestrial carbon cycle, including inventory assessments, ecosystem and earth system models, field experiments, remote sensing, and model-data syntheses.

Primary Convener:  Jingfeng Xiao, University of New Hampshire Main Campus, Durham, NH, United States

Conveners:  Kenneth J Davis, Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States, Forrest M. Hoffman, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Computational Earth Sciences, Oak Ridge, TN, United States and Stephen M Ogle, Colorado State University, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Fort Collins, CO, United States

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B041: Integrated Understanding of Climate, Carbon, Nutrient Cycles, Human Activities, and Their Interactions in Terrestrial Ecosystems.

Session ID#: 24541

Session Description:

Assessments of coupled climate–carbon cycle simulations indicate that terrestrial carbon cycle feedbacks are highly uncertain and could significantly alter the rate of atmospheric CO2 increase and, therefore, climate change over the next one hundred years. The terrestrial carbon cycle is directly affected by increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and by climate change, and, further, is altered indirectly by feedbacks from potentially limiting nutrients (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus). Changes in CO2 concentration and climate can affect the availability of these nutrients, and anthropogenic disturbances—such as tropospheric ozone, nitrogen deposition, and land cover and land use changes—also influence the carbon cycle, nutrient cycles, climate change, and the strength of their interactions. This session will focus on an integrated understanding of carbon, nutrient cycles, climate change, human activities, and their interactions and feedbacks to climate in terrestrial ecosystems.

Primary Convener:  Forrest M. Hoffman, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Computational Earth Sciences, Oak Ridge, TN, United States

Conveners:  Xiaojuan Yang, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge, TN, United States, Atul K Jain, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, IL, United States and Sasha Reed, Southwest Biological Science Center Moab, Moab, UT, United States

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B082: Vegetation Phenology as Forcing and Response Across Diverse Biomes: Detection, Attribution, Prediction and Implications.

Session ID#: 29198

Session Description:

Vegetation phenology is an integrated and sensitive indicator of ecosystem health and function that responds to growing conditions, disturbance, and climate change. Changes in phenology can also exert feedbacks on ecosystems and to the climate system by regulating vegetation dynamics and key land surface processes. This symposium draws upon recent advances in the detection of spatio-temporal variations in vegetation phenology with traditional and/or novel monitoring approaches (e.g., satellite, webcams, fluorescence, citizen scientist observations, crowdsourcing), and the attribution of these variations to underlying mechanistic processes. In addition, the session is looking forward to studies targeting accurate model representations of vegetation phenology at all scales, and/or investigating the phenological implications to key land surface processes and the societal sector. Abstracts reflecting the increasing research efforts across diverse biomes, including tropical forests, tundra and terrestrial-aquatic systems in addition to the temperate biome, are encouraged.

Primary Convener:  Xiangtao Xu, Princeton University, Geosciences, Princeton, NJ, United States

Conveners:  Forrest M. Hoffman, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Computational Earth Sciences, Oak Ridge, TN, United States, Jin Wu, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, United States and William Walter Hargrove, USDA Forest Service, Vallejo, CA, United States

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