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Special DLS Lecture – Matteo Bertagni (Princeton)

Date: Thursday, April 25, 2024 Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm Location: 54-100 Dixie Lee Bryant Lecture Hall | MIT Campus, Cambridge, MA

“Biogeophysical Interactions in Climate Mitigation Strategies”

Addressing climate change demands a comprehensive understanding of how mitigation strategies interact with the environment, including potential dynamic and nonlinear cascade effects. In this talk, I will analyze the biogeophysical interactions between the Earth system dynamics and two novel low-carbon fuels, hydrogen (H2) and ammonia (NH3), as well as a nature-based solution, enhanced weathering (EW), which involves the application of ground silicate rocks in agricultural soils. Although these strategies face different challenges, insights from integrating hydrological and biogeochemical modeling with multiscale observations reveal shared complexity in environmental feedback, including transient phenomena, stochastic controls, and nonlinear responses. This feedback can lead to undesired tradeoffs, like the indirect global warming effect of H2 emissions, and complicate the quantification of the strategies’ climate benefits, like for EW due to the variable weathering rates in soil and the uncertain hydrological transport of the weathering products via river systems. By elucidating and offering quantitative insights into these interactions, this research aims to provide holistic assessments of mitigation strategies and foster informed decision-making.

Questions? djwright@mit.edu