A video of this seminar is now available online and available below.
22 January, 1700-1830, Oxford Martin School
Event details here: http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/event/2031
We live in a new epoch, the Anthropocene, the Age of Us, of which climate change is just one aspect. The defining feature of this age is that sum of human activity (how many we are and what we are doing) has become large compared to the natural processes of the biosphere. The atmospheric waste products of our activity being the main driver of climate change. How can we measure how “large” we are, and how has our impact on the planet varied throughout human history?
Professor Yadvinder Malhi, Professor of Ecosystem Science, will examine this question through the concept of social metabolism, how much energy we use to support our lifestyles, compared to the metabolism of the biosphere. With this concept in hand, we will travel from a world full of hunter gatherers after the end of the last Ice Age, through the dawn of farming, the Roman Empire, the industrial revolution and finally look at prospects for the 21st century. On the way we’ll examine whether our cities behave like termite colonies, and whether people walk faster in London than in Oxford. And you’ll find out how you are like King Kong…
Join in on twitter with #2015climate
Two censuses of forest inventory data from our 18 ha (300 m x 600 m) large forest dynamics plot at Wytham Woods are now available for download. The data can be requested online through the Smithsonian ForestGEO web portal.
These data are available to all, subject to the fair use agreement detailed on the website
We have just published a description of the productive and carbon cycle of a plot in our local Wytham Woods research site. This is work emerging from the DPhil thesis of Katie Fenn. The work shows that the plot takes up 22 tonnes of carbon every year through photosynthesis, but less than 10% of this ends up as wood growth. Much more productivity ends up in the leaf canopy and even in fine roots. This is one of the few full descriptions anywhere of carbon cycling in mixed-age temperate broadleaf woodland (most work is on either plantations or coniferous forests), and forms part of our Global Ecosystems Monitoring network GEM. We also show how well our bottom-up carbon cycle measures track the eddy covariance measurements of total canopy CO2 exchange, giving increased confidence in both.
The paper can be accessed here:
Fenn, K., Malhi, Y., Morecroft, M., Lloyd, C. and Thomas, M. (2014) The carbon cycle of a maritime ancient temperate broadleaved woodland at seasonal and annual Scales. Ecosystems, 10.1007/s10021-014-9793-1. Supplementary info.
The eddy covariance work is described in detail in a previous study:
Thomas, M. V., Malhi, Y., Fenn, K. M., Fisher, J. B., Morecroft, M. D., Lloyd, C. R., Taylor, M. E., and McNeil, D. D (2011).: Carbon dioxide fluxes over an ancient broadleaved deciduous woodland in southern England, Biogeosciences, 8, 1595-1613, doi:10.5194/bg-8-1595-2011.
Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosytem ecologist and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University