Seminar by Professor Richard Sanders
Head, Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems, National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom
Date: Tuesday, 2nd April 2019
Time: 3pm – 4pm
Venue: CREATE Theatrette, CREATE Tower level 2, 1 CREATE Way, University Town, NUS
Please register here: http://bit.ly/Seminar-Prof-R-Sanders
Fossil fuel combustion and changes in patterns of land usage are together adding approximately 10 GT C yr-1 to the atmosphere, of which about half remains in the atmosphere contributing to global warming with the remaining half being taken up by the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans in approximately equal amounts. This major perturbation to the global carbon cycle is set against a much larger natural carbon cycle which our research focus is beginning to turn to understanding. Two key terms are the flux of carbon from terrestrial systems into inland waterways, estimated by the IPCC to be around 1-2 GT C yr-1 and the burial of ‘blue carbon’ in coastal systems such as mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass beds. There are key partly because they are poorly quantified/ understood and modelled and partly because they are both clearly changing in response to human pressure; dissolved organic carbon concentrations have increased by up to 50% in many northern European rivers and losses of coastal wetlands driven by urbanisation are accelerating. In light of this we have developed a major research programme on these processes, focussing on UK, SE Asian and Patagonian Carbon fluxes and seagrass meadow carbon burial. In this presentation we will describe the scope of our programme, highlighting key advances, significant unknowns and potential areas for future work and collaboration.
About the speaker:
Richard is currently chair of the Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems group at NOC and an honorary Professor at the University of Southampton. He has degrees in Chemistry, Oceanography and Environmental Science with the early part of his research career focussed on the cycling of inorganic nutrients in the hypernutrified estuaries in Eastern England. Since 2000, when he moved to NOC, he has worked on the Biological Carbon Pump, the biologically mediated mechanisms by which ocean life controls climate. Research highlights have included quantitatively linking the supply of the biolimiting nutrient (Fe) to the key ecosystem service of carbon sequestration in polar waters, identifying the Fe limited status of the N Atlantic and closing the mesopelagic C budget at the PAP site, thereby resolving a longstanding problem in biological oceanography. He is leading a 3.7 million pound NERC large grant to work on the controls over mesopelagic mineralisation with fieldwork in the Benguela Upwelling and Southern Ocean and is also working on the oceanic uptake of anthropogenically remobilised atmospheric CO2. In the future he plans to work extensively on the transfer of terrestrial organic matter from land to sea and its fate in coastal waters, initially via a large project in the UK, eventually taking this expertise into the Southern Hemisphere and tropical settings.