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About Topic 5


The mission of Topic 5 is to develop pathways towards multifunctional landscapes which maintain functioning ecosystems, halt biodiversity loss, and provide fresh water, food, and habitable living spaces as essential resources for humans.

Our focus:

Future landscapes must sustainably deliver the many and diverse services demanded by society, even under intensifying pressures, while retaining their natural capacities to fulfill their vital role in the Earth system. T5 is focused on terrestrial landscapes as spaces where human impacts, ecological alterations, and social costs of land use changes and effects of climate change directly shape human life. Topic 5 focuses on the interplay of human impacts and natural dynamics of landscapes. We aim to provide actionable knowledge and develop societal responses (e.g., governance mechanisms and policy options) for adaptation to climate change, halting biodiversity loss, sustainable agricultural policies, achieving freshwater security, and transforming cities as resilient human-natural systems.

T5 provides a unique platform for synthesizing pathways towards multifunctional landscapes of the future.

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Recent Highlights

Increase in air temperature and not of the ground temperature is the cause of more methane release from Siberian permafrost

More methane from Siberia in summer

GFZ researchers together with colleagues from the University of Hamburg and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam show in their recent Nature Climate Change paper that the summertime release of methane in Arctic permafrost regions has increased by almost two percent per year since 2004. The cause, however, is not a more massive thawing of permafrost, but earlier onset and increased plant growth and their roots into soils due to increased air temperature.


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