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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-2019-395
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-395
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 12 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 12 Nov 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Uncertainty sources in simulated ecosystem indicators of the 21st century climate change

Jarmo Mäkelä1, Francesco Minunno2, Tuula Aalto1, Annikki Mäkelä2, Tiina Markkanen1, and Mikko Peltoniemi3 Jarmo Mäkelä et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Natural Resources Institute Finland, P.O. Box 2, 00791 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. The forest ecosystems are already responding to increased CO2 concentrations and changing environmental conditions. These ongoing developments affect how societies can utilise and benefit from the woodland areas in the future, be it e.g. climate change mitigation as carbon sinks, lumber for wood industry or preserved for nature tourism and recreational activities. We assess the effect and the relative magnitude of different uncertainty sources in ecosystem model simulations from the year 1980 to 2100 for two Finnish boreal forest sites. The models used in this study are the land ecosystem model JSBACH and the forest growth model PREBAS. The considered uncertainty sources for both models are model parameters, four prescribed climates and two RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) scenarios. PREBAS simulations also include an additional RCP scenario and two forest management actions. We assess the effect of these sources at four different stages of the simulations on several ecosystem indicators of climate change, e.g. gross primary production (GPP), ecosystem respiration, soil moisture, recurrence of drought, length of the vegetation active period (VAP), length of the snow melting period and the stand volume. The climate model uncertainty remains roughly the same throughout the simulations and is overtaken by the RCP scenario impact halfway through the experiment. The management actions are the most dominant uncertainty factors for Hyytiälä and as important as RCP scenarios at the end of the simulations, but contribute only half as much for Sodankylä. The parameter uncertainty is the most elusive to estimate due to non-linear and adverse effects on the simulated ecosystem indicators.

Jarmo Mäkelä et al.
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Jarmo Mäkelä et al.
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Short summary
We assess the relative magnitude of uncertainty sources on ecosystem indicators of the 21st century climate change on two boreal forest sites. In addition to RCP and climate model uncertainties, we included the overlooked model (parameter) uncertainty and management actions in our analysis. Management was the dominant uncertainty factor for the more verdant southern site, followed by RCP, climate and parameter uncertainties. The uncertainties were estimated with canonical correlation analysis.
We assess the relative magnitude of uncertainty sources on ecosystem indicators of the 21st...
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