Earth system-Atmosphere interactions

The atmosphere interacts closely with the rest of the Earth system – including the biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and lithosphere – as well as with urban areas and societies on time scales from seconds to millennia.

Changes in one of these components are directly or indirectly communicated to other components via intricately linked processes and feedbacks. In recent years, scientific research has highlighted the tight connections of reactive gases, greenhouse gases (GHGs) and atmospheric aerosol particles via physical, chemical and biological processes occurring in the atmosphere and biosphere and at their interface. The potential of biospheric processes to affect radiative forcing has also received significant research attention. Human and societal actions, such as globalization, urbanization, energy conversion technologies, emission control policies, land-use change, as well as various natural feedback mechanisms involving the biosphere and atmosphere, have substantial impacts on the complicated couplings between atmospheric aerosols, trace gases, greenhouse gases, air quality and climate. INAR team is a pioneer in Earth system-Atmosphere interaction research, and in the core of our approach is the COBACC (COntinental Biosphere-Aerosol-Cloud-Climate) feedback loops that combine plant gross primary production with aerosol loadings and cloud-droplet number concentrations in the atmosphere. Thus, the COBACC feedback is a broad framework that connects human activities, the continental biosphere, and changing climate conditions. We have provided the first quantitative estimate regarding this feedback locally, and we aim to provide a quantitative estimate of the COBACC first for the boreal and Arctic climate regions, and finally globally.