GeoLog

Imaggeo on Mondays: Science in action – how will climate change affect Central Europe?

Imaggeo on Mondays: Science in action – how will climate change affect Central Europe?

The effects of a warming climate are expected to be far reaching. Sea-level rise, and how it will affect costal settlements make regular headlines, and not without reason. However, climate change may have other less obvious but equally dangerous impacts; for example, take a look at this recent piece highlighting the increased risk of storms and droughts in mainland Europe.

The area of Saxony-Anhalt, in northern Germany, has a rich cultural, historical and natural heritage, which is coming under threat of ever rising global temperatures, with summer drought conditions expected to be aggravated in the coming years. This is precisely where the The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) has focused some of its most recent research efforts.

Central to the discussion is to understand how the soils and local vegetation of Saxony-Anhalt will respond to the stress caused by increasingly dry conditions. Today’s imaggeo on Monday image, (curtesy of André Künzelmann, a researcher at UFZ), captures the installation of an Eddy Covariance Tower – used by scientists to acquire data which will help them understand how changing climate conditions impact the local landscape and vice versa.

Instruments on an Eddy Covariance Tower measure wind components and trace gases at high frequency to determine the exchange of e.g. carbon dioxide and methane gases which can have a high impact on climate change. In addition, meteorological data such as solar radiation, air temperature and wind are acquired as these are the main drivers of the biological processes involved in the carbon and water budgets of ecosystems.

Imaggeo is the EGU’s online open access geosciences image repository. All geoscientists (and others) can submit their photographs and videos to this repository and, since it is open access, these images can be used for free by scientists for their presentations or publications, by educators and the general public, and some images can even be used freely for commercial purposes. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. Submit your photos at http://imaggeo.egu.eu/upload/.

 

Laura Roberts Artal is the Communications Officer at the European Geosciences Union. She is responsible for the management of the Union’s social media presence and the EGU blogs, where she writes regularly for the EGU’s official blog, GeoLog. She is also the point of contact for early career scientists (ECS) at the EGU Office. Laura has a PhD in palaeomagnetism from the University of Liverpool. Laura tweets at @LauRob85.

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