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Marine Carbon Cycle

deciphering & bilancing

When we talk about carbon (C) at present, it is usually in the form of the two greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), which influence the Earth's climate, and the fossil fuels crude oil and natural gas. However, these C-compounds only represent a very small proportion of the global C-quantity. Nevertheless, the direct connection between them makes it very clear what immense effects shifts between different C reservoirs can have.

One research focus at MARUM is therefore the decoding of key core processes that affect the C cycle in the oecan, by far the largest C reservoir on Earth.

These include studies on the uptake and incorporation of atmospheric CO2 into biomass, as well as the transport and microbial transformation of organic material in the water column and in sediments. The focus is often on questions concerning the decisive factors for the existence of organic and inorganic forms of C and their balancing interactions in all areas of the ocean, from the surface water to several thousand meters below the sea floor.

Phytoplankton 1 MHI
Aggregate of marine "snow" (Foto Morten H. Iversen)

Selection of current research projects



Dicover molecular pathway for glyco-carbon sequestration

(ERC Consolidator Grant)



Innovative approaches to improve the carbon storage potential of coastal vegetation ecosystems

(DAM Research Mission)


Archean Park

Relics of ancient cellular biogeochemistry in an underground ecosystem with high CO2 content

(ERC Synergy Grant)


C-Projects in the DFG Excellence Cluster Oceanfloor