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

Ute Weber, Sabine Attinger, Burkard Baschek, Julia Boike, Dietrich Borchardt, Holger Brix, Nicolas Brüggemann, Ingeborg Bussmann, Peter Dietrich, Philipp Fischer, Jens Greinert, Irena Hajnsek, Norbert Kamjunke, Dorit Kerschke, Astrid Kiendler-Scharr, Arne Körtzinger, Christoph Kottmeier, Bruno Merz, Ralf Merz, Martin RieseMichael Schloter, Ha Pe Schmid, Jörg Peter Schnitzler, Torsten Sachs, Claudia Schütze, Ralf Tillmann, Harry Vereecken, Andreas Wieser, Georg Teutsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Modular Observation Solutions of Earth Systems (MOSES) 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. Hydrometeorological extremes such as the recent European droughts or the floods of 2013 caused severe and lasting environmental damage. Modeling 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 (2017-21), the measuring systems were put into operation and test campaigns were performed to establish event-driven campaign routines. With MOSES's 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E339-E348
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Dynamics
  • Ecosystem effects
  • Extreme events
  • Hydrometeorology
  • Instrumentation/sensors
  • Measurements


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