Topics for students

A full list of topics for bachelor and master theses at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg offered by the Land Department of the MPI-Met can be found here. For below topics in the group of "Land use in the Earth system", contact (unless otherwise noted) Julia Pongratz, Geomatikum 1719,


Master theses

Fate of wood products and its relevance for the global carbon budget

Assumptions on the fate of wood from forest clearance and harvest strongly influence the assumed timing of associated carbon emissions. Wood harvest may create a source or sink of carbon depending of whether the lifetime of the products is longer or shorter than the fate of the carbon out in the forest.

Assumptions on wood usage are therefore important to estimate past and future emissions from anthropogenic land use, as well as mitigation potentials.

However, established land surface models such as those used in the global carbon budget or in the sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), often assume spatially and temporally constant factors to allocate cleared/harvested wood into product pools of different life-time.

Goals of this thesis project are (1) to assess the associated uncertainty by applying spatially and temporally constant and varying factors from different historical data sets and (2) to evaluate the mitigation potential of different scenarios of wood allocation.

To this end the bookkeeping model BLUE and/or the dynamic global vegetation model  JSBACH -- the land surface model of the MPIESM -- will be extended.

Contact: Julia Nabel (

Requirements: Basic programming skills (JSBACH: fortran; BLUE: python; working environment: linux; other tools: cdo, bash, nco)