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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Graduate Program (M.Sc.) - Global Change Ecology

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Lecture/Seminar: Microclimatic Field Experiment Across Land Uses (A10b) (28801)

SS 2024
additional field days tba

Wolfgang Babel, Christoph Thomas

For Lecture/Seminar and Seminar/Exercise, 5 ECTS in total

Starting date: additional field days tba

Learning Objectives: The learning outcome of this class is to comprehend the fundamental interactions between anthropogenic land use and land cover changes and the cycling of heat, water, carbon and reactive gas species at the land surface, to collect and analyse field observations, and to apply this knowledge across contrasting land uses and covers.

Course Content: Land use and land cover (LULC) change from local to global scales is an important aspect of global change and acts as both a responder to socio-economic demands and as a driver of societal development. At the heart of these feedback processes is the biogeochemical cycling of heat, water, carbon, and reactive species creating specific microclimates between the land surface and the near-surface air, both of which comprise the ‘critical zone’ containing almost all terrestrial life including human activities. The microclimate and thus the state of the critical zone is important for identifying sustainable solutions in a rapidly changing world impacted by urbanization, agricultural expansion, afforestation, and desertification. Students will first develop a conceptual problem and process-oriented understanding of how LULC changes impact the microclimatic cycling of heat, water, carbon, and other trace gases in a classroom setting. Next, they will apply their skills by designing, conducting, analysing, and interpreting field measurements of heat, water, and radiative fluxes across the soil-air-plant continuum across contrasting land use types (grassland, urban land cover) to understand the urban heat island and agricultural cool islands. Methods include commonly applied micrometeorological experimental techniques and models including the Bowen-ratio, Penman-Monteith evapotranspiration, and Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer (SVAT) models.

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