Element cycling at boundary layers of the Earth System
On Earth, biologically relevant elements like carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon are in a state of constant circulation. As the relative levels of their availability shape global biological productivity, these elements also interact with our climate. As a result of climate change and the intensified anthropogenic use of land and the ocean, these cycles could accelerate considerably. The CEN utilizes interdisciplinary approaches to determine how pronounced these effects already are and how they will impact ecosystems and productivity in the future. These approaches combine e.g. in-situ measurements on land, at sea and in the atmosphere, remote sensing, laboratory experiments and numerical modeling.
ASO caldera weathering fluxes
The ASO caldera working group consists of a network of scientists who study the weathering fluxes from the ASO caldera (Japan) with specific focus on the contribution of volcanic activity, earthquakes and hydrothermal systems to the fluxes. One key interest is to identify new multi-isotope tracers to disentangle the contribution of different source processes on fluxes.
Duration: 2014 – ongoing
Project leader: Jens Hartmann (UHH), Takahiro Hosono (Kumamoto University, Japan)
Sponsors: DFG, Kumamoto University
CEMICS 1/2 Contextualizing Climate Engineering and Mitigation: Illusion, Complement or Substitute?
CEMICS is driven by the hypothesis that society will not take decisions on climate engineering (CE) in isolation, but in consideration of the whole portfolio of existing climate policy options. The ongoing work puts CE and negative emission technologies in the context of mitigation by asking to what extent (combinations of) CE or negative emission options would provide synergies or compete with mitigation options (i.e. would act as ‘complements of’ or ‘substitutes for’ mitigation). This integrated assessment of CE and mitigation strategies is subjected to ethical reasoning asking what amount of implementation of CE or negative emission options would be admissible under what ethical framings.
The part considering interfaces in the Earth system studies analysis the role of carbon sequestration potentials and limitations via bioenergy, afforestation, enhanced weathering and soil organic carbon. A specific focus is on a holistic evaluation of impacts on biogeochemical cycles.
Formation mechanisms of low-magnesium calcite and associated barite at cold seeps in today’s aragonite sea
Composite low-magnesium calcite (LMC) and barite have been reported from some modern seep deposits, but the formation conditions of this paragenesis in today’s aragonite sea remain largely unconstrained. This project aims to characterize the formation environments of this unusual paragenesis at modern seeps in the Gulf of Mexico.
Duration: 2018 – 2021
Project leader: Jörn Peckmann, Daniel Birgel
GLIM, GUM, GLORICH: New geodata for Earth system boundary layer research
New global data sets for studies on element fluxes and ecosystem research are continuously created, as for example the global databases Global Lithological Map GLiM, Global Unconsolidated Sediment GUM, the Global River Chemistry database GLORICH. Further contributions to new relevant geodata like ecosystem classifications, permeability data of the Earth surface, or aquifer data are continuously made. This work relies on a global network of researchers.
Duration: 2002 – ongoing
Project leader: Jens Hartmann
Sponsors: DFG, BMBF, UNESCO, Commission for the Geological Map of the World
In order to keep climate warming below the two-degree limit, we must reduce our net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero by 2050. To make that happen, we will need to use innovative technologies to remove greenhouse gases from our atmosphere. In turn, the gases removed will need to be safely stored on a long-term basis. To date, these Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) have only been developed for land-based CO2 sequestration – e.g. underground or as biomass. The EU project OceanNets, supported with 7.2 million euros of funding (Universität Hamburg: 362,000 euros), will explore new techniques for also storing CO2 as carbon in the ocean. “Thanks to their size and the diversity of their ecosystems alone, the oceans hold enormous potential,” says Prof. Jens Hartmann from Universität Hamburg’s Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN). Working together with an international team, the geologist will test a range of ocean-based technologies in terms of their efficacy, sustainability, feasibility and potential risks.
Palmod – Subproject Paleoweathering Reconstructing land-ocean carbon and nutrient fluxes since the Last Glacial Maximum
This project studies temporal changes of matter fluxes at two major boundaries in the Earth system, the soil-rock-atmosphere interface (mobilization of matter via weathering) and the land-ocean interface (transport of carbon and nutrients into the coastal zone from land).
Subproject leader: Jens Hartmann
SALTGIANT ETN – Geobiology of saline environments – ESR 8
The overall aim is to assess the potential for surface and deep microbial biospheres in Messinian deposits that depend on the presence of sulfate-bearing minerals such as gypsum. In close collaboration with the University of Torino and the mining sector partner KNAUF, ESR 8 will carry out a multidisciplinary petrographical, isotope geochemical, and biomarker investigation of selected rock samples that contain signatures of past microbial activity.
Duration: 2018 – 2022
Project leader: Jörn Peckmann, Daniel Birgel