ASP Summer Colloquium 2013

Carbon-climate connections in the Earth System

July 29 to August 16, 2013, NCAR - Boulder, Colorado, USA

Matthew C. Long and R. Quinn Thomas (NCAR), Naomi M. Levine (USC)
Curtis Deutsch (UCLA), Galen A. McKinley (Wisconsin), Annalisa Bracco (Georgia Tech)


The ocean and terrestrial biosphere currently absorb about half of annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions. These sinks are sensitive to climate; future warming will reduce their effectiveness. Understanding the mechanisms regulating natural carbon sinks is an essential element of climate prediction and a key challenge for Earth System models.


This colloquium is designed for graduate students who have completed at least one-year in a field related to biogeochemistry or Earth System modeling. The colloquium will focus on the physical, biological, and chemical mechanisms that regulate the global carbon cycle. It will feature lectures from international experts on key aspects of the carbon cycle and its representation in Earth System models. Lectures will address both terrestrial and ocean biogeochemical systems, and include observational and modeling perspectives. Furthermore, lectures will be given on coupled climate modeling and analytical techniques relevant to carbon cycle science. Tutorials and computer-based exercises will provide experience working with models spanning a range of complexity. Student projects will examine the behavior of cutting-edge Earth System models in simulations submitted to phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5).

Key Uncertainties in the Global Carbon-Cycle: Perspectives across terrestrial and ocean ecosystems

6-10 August 2013

The middle week of the ASP Colloquium will consist of a workshop focused on key challenges in global carbon cycle modeling. The workshop will have a separate application process for early career to senior researchers.

Expected Outcome

This colloquium will provide students with an integrated conceptual understanding of the processes regulating the global carbon cycle. Students will learn state-of-the-art modeling approaches used in Earth System models and recognize key elements contributing to uncertainty in future projections. Student will gain hands-on experience working with model output and the observational data sets used to calibrate and evaluate the models.