MOSES: A Novel Observation System to Monitor Dynamic Events Across Earth Compartments

Philipp.Fischer [ at ]


MOSES (Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems) is a novel observation system that is specifically designed to unravel the impact of distinct, dynamic events on the long-term development of environmental systems. Hydro-meteorological extremes such as the recent European droughts or the floods of 2013 caused severe and lasting environmental damage. Modelling studies suggest that abrupt permafrost thaw events accelerate Arctic greenhouse gas emissions. Short-lived ocean eddies seem to comprise a significant share of the marine carbon uptake or release. Although there is increasing evidence that such dynamic events bear the potential for major environmental impacts, our knowledge on the processes they trigger is still very limited. MOSES aims at capturing such events, from their formation to their end, with high spatial and temporal resolution. As such, the observation system extends and complements existing national and international observation networks, which are mostly designed for long-term monitoring. Several German Helmholtz Association centers have developed this research facility as a mobile and modular “system of systems” to record energy, water, greenhouse gas and nutrient cycles on the land surface, in coastal regions, in the ocean, in polar regions, and in the atmosphere – but especially the interactions between the Earth compartments. During the implementation period (2017-2021), the measuring systems were put into operation and test campaigns were performed to establish event-driven campaign routines. With MOSES’ regular operation starting in 2022, the observation system will then be ready for cross-compartment and cross-discipline research on the environmental impacts of dynamic events.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Research Networks
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1175/BAMS-D-20-0158.1

Cite as
Weber, U. , Attinger, S. , Baschek, B. , Boike, J. , Borchardt, D. , Brix, H. , Brüggemann, N. , Bussmann, I. , Dietrich, P. , Fischer, P. , Greinert, J. , Hajnsek, I. , Kamjunke, N. , Kerschke, D. , Kiendler-Scharr, A. , Körtzinger, A. , Kottmeier, C. , Merz, B. , Merz, R. , Riese, M. , Schloter, M. , Schmid, H. , Schnitzler, J. P. , Sachs, T. , Schütze, C. , Tillmann, R. , Vereecken, H. , Wieser, A. and Teutsch, G. (2021): MOSES: A Novel Observation System to Monitor Dynamic Events Across Earth Compartments , Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, pp. 1-23 . doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-20-0158.1

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Geographical region

Research Platforms

Arctic Land Expeditions > CA-Land_2018_TrailValleyCreek
Arctic Land Expeditions > NO-Land_2021_Bayelva

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