We seek to improve our understanding of interactions between humans, ecosystems, and the climate system. An important research goal is to quantify how the contemporary global carbon cycle is changing and to assess the implication of this change for stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases levels and climate. Another objective is to identify new mechanisms influencing ecosystem-climate feedbacks. In many instances, the relative importance of different biophysical, biogeochemical, and human-mediated feedbacks are not well understood; a key goal in this context is to quantify the most important pathways. This information is important for designing effective solutions for sustainably managing ecosystems.
Together, remote sensing and atmospheric trace gas observations, models, and field measurements provide a foundation for our work. We use remote sensing products from a number of satellite missions from NASA, including the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua, Terra, and Aura satellites, Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2), National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE), and Landsat 8. Atmospheric trace gas observations are available through collaboration with colleagues at NOAA Global Monitoring Division (GMD) and the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON). We use a suite of modeling approaches to interpret these data and to assess future scenarios of change, including the Community Earth System Model (CESM), the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA) biogeochemistry model, and new land use and biogeochemical models under development at UC Irvine.
Current research themes: