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Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Geographisches Institut

14.01.2020 | 16:00 - 18:00 | Geographisches Kolloquium

Wann 14.01.2020 von 16:00 bis 18:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100) iCal
Wo Rudower Chaussee 26 | ESZ | Raum 0'311
Kontakt Telefon +49 30 2092 6807

Geographisches Kolloquium am Geographischen Institut


Dirk Sachse
(GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences)


From the Late Glacial into the Anthropocene: Molecular methods reveal climatic and anthropogenic agents of change in the Earth Surface System


Humans alter landscapes since thousands of years. Increasing anthropogenic interference with the Earth system since the industrialization has been suggested to place the planet on a trajectory outside of safe operating conditions for modern human societies. A concept of ‘planetary boundaries’ has been suggested, but the exact definition and spatiotemporal diversity of such ‘boundaries’ or ‘thresholds’ is difficult to estimate.

In my talk I will discuss how we can use organic geochemical tools to detect impacts from the passing of pre-Holocene natural thresholds and quantify regional differences in climate change. Further, I will show evidence that humans extensively changed landscapes during the pre-industrial era. On the southern edge of the Tibetan Plateau this lead to a complete local landscape collapse, as human impacts were amplified by the passing of a climate change driven threshold.

In addition, I will explore the potential effects of landscape change on biogeochemical cycles, such as the carbon cycle. Taken together, these examples imply the importance to understand the regional impact of a global forcing in order to better predict vulnerabilities to and future consequences of global (regional) change.