Seminar – “Co-evolution of Climate and Life” By Gordon Bonan

There will be an informative seminar by an internationally well-respected climate scientist, Gordon Bonan of NCAR, on the role of biological processes within the climate system. Indeed, the topic of ecology of ecosystems [ecosystem function] is really just the biological community’s way to express describe the climate system on Earth. The term “climate”, of course, originated in the physical sciences community, but is increasingly taking on the integrated perspective presented in the figure below from NRC (2005)


The seminar is

Subject: Astrobiology Seminar, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2:00 PM Astrobiology Seminar

“Co-evolution of Climate and Life

Presented by :  Gordon Bonan (NCAR)

DATE:  Wednesday,  October 20
TIME:   2:00 PM
LOCATION:  LASP Conference Room D142, Duane Physics Building,
University of Colorado-Boulder

Refreshments available at 1:45 PM


The physiology of plants and ecology of ecosystems are important determinants of climate change. I review the processes by which the biosphere affects climate and give examples of biosphere-atmosphere coupling in the paleoclimate record. Climate change over the 20th and 21st centuries is greatly influenced by the biosphere, through carbon cycle feedbacks and through anthropogenic land cover change. I give examples of these feedbacks and discuss the potential for ecosystems to mitigate 21st century climate change.

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