Climate-Biosphere Interactions

Land ecosystems interact with climate through numerous biogeophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks. Ecosystems modify biophysical parameters of the land surface (e.g. the albedo), form specific spatial patterns, and contribute to the global cycling of carbon and nutrients through biogeochemical exchange with the atmosphere and ocean. Many climate-relevant biological processes such as plant successions, soil evolution, and accumulation of organic residues in wetlands involve alteration of land surface and abiotic environment on a long time scale.

Our research is focused on long-term interactions between climate and biosphere. We investigate these feedbacks using a hierarchy of Earth system models of different complexity. Together with other research groups of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, we develop the biospheric components of the COSMOS model.

Group members

Former and external members


Workshop on MOC stability - 10.-11. February 2011


Historical landcover change and wood harvest CO2 emissions (proposed for CMIP5)
Historical landcover change and wood harvest CO2 emissions (proposed for CMIP6)




Vegetation Cover Benchmarking