Master WAPE Courses

Biogeochemical cycles and interactions with the biosphere at global scale

Erwan Personne, Nathalie de Noblet, Marielle Saunois, Bruno Lansard

This course has been specifically designed for WAPE


The exchanges of carbon and nitrogen, complemented by the exchanges of energy and water, play a major role in the climate system. Trace compounds are emitted or produced, transformed and recycled between oceans, atmosphere, land surfaces, and cryosphere, with a key transverse contribution from the biosphere. The study of such biogeochemical cycles allows the understanding of pollutant and greenhouse gas global budgets but also to establish relevant climate scenarios for the future.
Within biogeochemical cycles, interactions between biosphere and atmosphere are a critical component to understand. Here, these interactions are examined in terms of climate impacting the biosphere just as they are in terms of biosphere feedbacks on climate. 
In this teaching unit, it is proposed to give a basic knowledge on the major global biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, ...) and to provide highlights on few biosphere / atmosphere interactions from regional scale to to global scale.


Biogeochemical cycles (12h)
- CO2 cycle : a natural cycle perturbed by human activities - 3h
- Methane cycle and other non-CO2 carbon species - 3h
- Nitrogen cycle - 3h
- Biogeochemical cycle and climate in the 21st century - 3h

Interactions with biosphere (18h)
- Land biosphere and climate (6h): Introduction to the role of the terrestrial biosphere on climate at all scales ; Impact of land-use on climate and the role of the biosphere on extreme events
- Biosphere ocean / climate (6h)
- Biosphere / atmosphere: Role of the biosphere on the chemical composition of the atmosphere and on air pollution - 3h –
Practice: modelling of continental exchanges Biosphere-Atmosphere – 3h
- Concluding Conference on the interactions between climate scientists and the society - 3h


To know the main biogeochemical cycles
To know the orders of magnitude of global carbon and nitrogen budgets
To understand the main interactions between the biosphere and the other components of the climate system
To know how to use simple conceptual models on biogeochemical cycles


A minimum knowledge on Earth system

Erwan Personne is Assistant Professor at AgroParisTech, Unité Mixte de Recherche Environnement et Grandes Cultures.

Nathalie de Noblet is researcher at the laboratory LSCE, Research interest: Biosphere / Atmosphere Interactions, Role of Land Dynamics in the climate system (managed ecosystems and natural dynamical behavior; wetlands), Modelling terrestrial ecosystems, Interactions between climate, managed ecosystems, and socio-ecological systems.

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