Scientific focus

The scope of iLEAPS research for the next years is documented in the iLEAPS Science Plan and Implementation Strategy. Since both science and implementation evolve with time, iLEAPS homepages are linked to current activities and new initiatives. The research is divided into four foci:

  1. Land-atmosphere exchange of reactive and long-lived compounds: key interactions and feedbacks in the Earth System
    a) Carbon dioxide
    b) Methane
    c) Volatile organic compounds
    d) Nitrogen oxides
  2. Feedbacks between land biota, aerosols and atmospheric composition in the climate system
    a) Biosphere-aerosol-cloud interactions
    b) Surface-atmosphere exchanges and the self-cleansing mechanism of the atmosphere
  3. Feedbacks and teleconnections in the land surface-vegetation-water-atmosphere system
    a) Lateral hydrology-biogeochemistry connections
    b) Regional issues
    c) Global issues
  4. Transfer of material and energy in the soil-canopy-boundary layer system: measurements and modelling
    a) Development of sensors for turbulent flux measurements
    b) Measurement at tower patch scale
    c) Non-conservative scalars
    d) Boundary layer budget methodsĀ 
    e) Airborne measurements of fluxes and scalars
    f) Remote sensing
    g) Integration of measurements and modeling, model development and evaluation

iLEAPS implementation strategies include strategic modelling and multi-parameter sensitivity studies to be able to focus measurements and select representative field sites. Research tasks may be chosen based on geographical boundaries to address regional issues or according to common environmental factors in order to address key scientific uncertainties. Research themes can also be selected to develop iLEAPS tasks based on key processes or phenomena in the land-atmosphere system.

Knowledge transfer is an essential component of iLEAPS. Knowledge transfer includes interdisciplinary training, capacity building and student outreach (initial contact and regional involvement, on-site training, follow-up workshops, databases) and communication. iLEAPS articles are published in the IGBP newsletter and various other international journals. A brochure, website, newsletter and press releases for meetings and large regional integrative projects are part of outreach and communication. iLEAPS will also encourage community- and policy-related outreach activities associated with the regional integrative projects.

The modes of iLEAPS operation include networks of process studies to elucidate specific iLEAPS scientific questions, field campaigns, modelling (tool development, validations and intercomparisons), long-term integrated field studies, international interdisciplinary mega-campaigns, synthesis studies, databases, as well as conferences on specific scientific questions and synthesis meetings