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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-536
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-536
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Dec 2016

Submitted as: research article | 16 Dec 2016

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Intercomparison of Terrestrial Carbon Fluxes and Carbon Use Efficiency Simulated by CMIP5 Earth System Models

Dongmin Kim1, Myong-In Lee1, Su-Jong Jeong2, Jungho Im1, Dong Hyun Cha1, and Sanggyun Lee1 Dongmin Kim et al.
  • 1School of Urban and Environmental Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, Korea
  • 2School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Nanshan, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

Abstract. This study compares historical simulations of the terrestrial carbon cycle produced by 10 Earth System Models (ESMs) that participated in the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Using MODIS satellite estimates, this study validates the simulation of gross primary production (GPP), net primary production (NPP), and carbon use efficiency (CUE), which depend on plant function types (PFTs). The models show noticeable deficiencies compared to the MODIS data in the simulation of the spatial patterns of GPP and NPP and large differences among the simulations, although the multi-model ensemble (MME) mean provides a realistic global mean value and spatial distributions. The larger model spreads in GPP and NPP compared to those of surface temperature and precipitation suggest that the differences among simulations in terms of the terrestrial carbon cycle are largely due to uncertainties in the parameterization of terrestrial carbon fluxes by vegetation. The models also exhibit large spatial differences in their simulated CUE values and at locations where the dominant PFT changes, primarily due to differences in the parameterizations. While the MME-simulated CUE values show a strong dependence on surface temperatures, the observed CUE values from MODIS show greater complexity, as well as non-linear sensitivity. This leads to the overall underestimation of CUE using most of the PFTs incorporated into current ESMs. The results of this comparison suggest that more careful and extensive validation is needed to improve the terrestrial carbon cycle in terms of ecosystem-level processes.

Dongmin Kim et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Dongmin Kim et al.
Dongmin Kim et al.
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Short summary
This study compares historical simulations of the terrestrial carbon cycle produced by 10 ESMs that participated in the CMIP5. The models show noticeable deficiencies compared to the MODIS data and large differences among the simulations, although the MME mean provides a realistic global mean value and spatial distributions. MME is reflected by the systematic biases of simulated biogeochemical processes which depends on temperature conditions strongly in every plant functional types.
This study compares historical simulations of the terrestrial carbon cycle produced by 10 ESMs...
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