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CO2 practitioners meet modelers

03/24/2016 - PIK scientists gathered for a one-day-conference this week to discuss limits and possibilities of CO2 fertilization both in models and observations in order to achieve the best scientific results. As special guests, they welcomed two experimentalists in the field: Bruce Kimball from the Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, who is also a longstanding companion in CO2 research, and Onno Muller from the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich as acknowledged expert in phenotyping. Their input was complemented by contributions from PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and researchers Hermann Lotze-Campen, Katja Frieler, Christoph Müller and Frank Wechsung.
CO2 practitioners meet modelers

Bruce Kimball explains evapotranspiration (Photo: PIK)

The extent of a CO2 fertilization effect on crops has been the subject of experimental research, but also needs to be factored into climate models. Kimball is one of the most prominent researchers of the CO2 fertilization effect on crops. He has been researching the effects of the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration and climate change on yield and water use of outdoor field crops for decades. In his presentation at PIK, he outlined the effects of elevated CO2 and its interactions as determined from his experiments in the field.

There has been a long standing cooperation between scientists from the Potsdam Institute and Kimball´s experimental group in Maricopa, Arizona. It dates back to the early days of PIK when scientists participated in the worldwide first wheat FACE (Free-Air CO2 Enrichment) experiment in Maricopa (1993-1997).

As another guest speaker at the conference, Onno Muller from the Institute for Bio-and Geosciences at Forschungszentrum Jülich introduced PIK scientists into the latest phenotyping techniques and presented the plan for a German FACE experiment to support the breeding of varieties that mostly benefit from higher CO2.

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