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Carbon Cycle - Processes Influencing Carbon Flux

An important question in climate change research centers on how the carbon cycle is affected by natural climate variability and human changes to the environment. The "carbon cycle" includes the natural cycling of carbon through plants, soils, seawater, rocks, and sediments, as well as the carbon transfers and transformations caused by human actions such as burning fossil fuels and changing land use. The carbon cycle is a critical mediator between many natural processes that sustain life on Earth and many socioeconomic activities that sustain human society. For example, the changing carbon cycle is viewed not only as a primary driver of climate and land use change, but also as a primary source of uncertainty in projecting future climate and land use trends. Research directed toward improving understanding of climate and land use change is increasingly intertwined with research directed toward improving understanding of the carbon cycle.

R&D research projects use multiple techniques to improve our understanding of patterns of local to global carbon flux associated with hydrologic and geologic processes. This includes efforts in arctic to temperate settings that examine the geochemical mass balance for carbon. Researchers also examine how changes in carbon cycling in forest and wetland environments affect the transport of carbon from the fluvial to marine environments. These efforts are aimed at improving the understanding of how biological processes, including human activities, interact with hydrologic and geologic processes in the cycling of carbon.

Projects conducting research on Carbon Cycle - Processes Influencing Carbon Flux:

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