10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference


The conference will be organized around themes and “Grand Challenges” that integrate across different reservoirs, ecosystems and disciplines. The overarching goal is to elucidate how human activities, including fossil fuel emissions and land use, influence the coupled carbon-climate system. Dedicated sessions will be held in memory of Ernst Maier-Reimer and Michael Raupach. Contributions that provide insight into topics related to the themes, questions and key words outlined below are very welcome.

Grand Challenges (GC) and Emerging Topics

GC-1: Striving for Consistency across Systems, Mechanisms, Scales and Sources of Information

  • Plant ecology and foundational principles in the perspective of a balanced atmospheric carbon budget
  • Consistency of different approaches and information towards a balanced carbon budget

GC-2: Carbon Cycle Research in Support of the Paris Agreement

GC-3: Carbon Cycle Responses to the 2015-2016 El Niño Event

Theme 1: The Contemporary Carbon Cycle

Theme 1.1: Trends, Variability and Time of Emergence of Human Impacts

What do we know about contemporary anthropogenic carbon emissions and their distribution within the Earth System? When do anthropogenic trends emerge on the local scale?

  • The modern global carbon budget
  • Fossil carbon emissions
  • Land use and land management
  • Carbon emissions linked to trade and individual economic sectors
  • Global-to-regional ocean and land carbon uptake
  • Natural versus anthropogenic trends
  • Isotopes and atmospheric oxygen
  • Decadal carbon predictions

Theme 1.2: Emerging Approaches and Novel Observation Techniques

How can we use remote sensing information and site measurements to quantify carbon fluxes and underlying processes? Can we verify national emissions and emission reduction pledges?

  • Satellite and in-situ observations, ground truthing
  • Observing networks and novel technologies: ocean, land, atmosphere
  • Paleo proxy data
  • Data assimilation (parameters, mean and transient states)
  • Full emission monitoring, reporting and verification

Theme 2: The Paleo Perspective: Patterns, Processes and Planetary Boundaries

What do we know about the functioning of the carbon cycle in the past? What lessons can be learned for the future?

  • Reconstructions from different archives, model and model-data approaches
  • Glacial-interglacial variations, abrupt events, paleo-analogues for higher CO2
  • Ocean and land carbon cycles including ecosystems, weathering and ocean-sediment interactions
  • Feedbacks and linkages with climate, ice sheets, other major biogeochemical cycles; isotopes, geotracers
  • Carbonate chemistry, vegetation, peatland and permafrost dynamics
  • Societal relevance of Earth System history 

Theme 3: Biogeochemical Processes

Theme 3.1: Processes Understanding and Human Impacts

What do we know about the processes governing biogeochemical cycles, ecosystems and the impacts of anthropogenic emissions and management? What do we know about direct and indirect effects of high CO2, including ocean acidification?

  • Ecosystem, physical and chemical processes in the ocean and on land
  • Extreme events, fire, droughts, ocean heat waves
  • Influence of ENSO and other ocean-atmosphere interactions on carbon cycle variability
  • Lateral carbon transfer and burial, including soils, inland freshwaters, ocean margins, coastal processes, weathering
  • Sea ice biogeochemistry and the carbon cycle in an ice-free Arctic
  • Linkages between CO2 and other greenhouse gases, between carbon and oxygen, nutrients, isotopes, and ocean carbon and heat uptake
  • The human footprint
  • Socio-economic and climate drivers of deforestation, peat drainage, fossil emissions, urbanization

Theme 3.2: Coping with Complexity: from Process Understanding to Robust Models

What are key lessons from process and synthesis studies? What are models doing right, what wrong and how to improve their predictive skills?

  • Cross-fertilizing process studies and model development
  • Reconciling process knowledge, first order and foundational principles, models, and top-down regional-to-global scale information
  • Lessons from paleo data
  • Model evaluation and emergent constraints on future model behavior
  • Data sets needed for new model components

Theme 4: Scenarios of the Future Earth and Steps toward Long-term Earth System Stability

How will the anthropogenic perturbation of the carbon-climate system evolve? What is the relationship between carbon emissions and their impacts on physical, ecological and socio-economic systems and between emissions and multiple climate targets? What are the options for limiting and reducing human perturbations?

  • Carbon-ecosystem-climate feedbacks and vulnerabilities
  • Direct and indirect impacts of high CO2
  • Allowable anthropogenic carbon emissions to meet multiple climate targets
  • The future of ocean and land carbon sinks
  • Emission mitigation, socio-economic and technological opportunities to stabilize CO2, geoengineering
  • Irreversible changes
  • Linkages between ocean acidification, warming, deoxygenation, eutrophication, and marine ecosystems with carbon dioxide and other GHGs
  • Probabilistic assessments
  • Scenarios, model projections
  • Linking socio-economic and Earth System processes