The North American carbon program multi-scale synthesis and terrestrial model intercomparison project - Part 1: Overview and experimental design

Deborah N Huntzinger, Christopher R Schwalm, A. M. Michalak, K. Schaefer, A. W. King, Y. Wei, A. Jacobson, S. Liu, R. B. Cook, W. M. Post, G. Berthier, D. Hayes, M. Huang, A. Ito, H. Lei, C. Lu, J. Mao, C. H. Peng, S. Peng, B. PoulterD. Riccuito, X. Shi, H. Tian, W. Wang, N. Zeng, F. Zhao, Q. Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) have become an integral tool for extrapolating local observations and understanding of land-atmosphere carbon exchange to larger regions. The North American Carbon Program (NACP) Multi-scale synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project (MsTMIP) is a formal model intercomparison and evaluation effort focused on improving the diagnosis and attribution of carbon exchange at regional and global scales. MsTMIP builds upon current and past synthesis activities, and has a unique framework designed to isolate, interpret, and inform understanding of how model structural differences impact estimates of carbon uptake and release. Here we provide an overview of the MsTMIP effort and describe how the MsTMIP experimental design enables the assessment and quantification of TBM structural uncertainty. Model structure refers to the types of processes considered (e.g., nutrient cycling, disturbance, lateral transport of carbon), and how these processes are represented (e.g., photosynthetic formulation, temperature sensitivity, respiration) in the models. By prescribing a common experimental protocol with standard spin-up procedures and driver data sets, we isolate any biases and variability in TBM estimates of regional and global carbon budgets resulting from differences in the models themselves (i.e., model structure) and model-specific parameter values. An initial intercomparison of model structural differences is represented using hierarchical cluster diagrams (a.k.a. dendrograms), which highlight similarities and differences in how models account for carbon cycle, vegetation, energy, and nitrogen cycle dynamics. We show that, despite the standardized protocol used to derive initial conditions, models show a high degree of variation for GPP, total living biomass, and total soil carbon, underscoring the influence of differences in model structure and parameterization on model estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2121-2133
Number of pages13
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 17 2013

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Experimental design
experimental design
Design of experiments
Carbon
Synthesis
carbon
Model
Structural Model
Model structures
biosphere
programme
project
Estimate
Dendrogram
Cycle
Cycling
Respiration
Vegetation
Biomass
Formal Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation

Cite this

The North American carbon program multi-scale synthesis and terrestrial model intercomparison project - Part 1 : Overview and experimental design. / Huntzinger, Deborah N; Schwalm, Christopher R; Michalak, A. M.; Schaefer, K.; King, A. W.; Wei, Y.; Jacobson, A.; Liu, S.; Cook, R. B.; Post, W. M.; Berthier, G.; Hayes, D.; Huang, M.; Ito, A.; Lei, H.; Lu, C.; Mao, J.; Peng, C. H.; Peng, S.; Poulter, B.; Riccuito, D.; Shi, X.; Tian, H.; Wang, W.; Zeng, N.; Zhao, F.; Zhu, Q.

In: Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 6, No. 6, 17.12.2013, p. 2121-2133.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Huntzinger, DN, Schwalm, CR, Michalak, AM, Schaefer, K, King, AW, Wei, Y, Jacobson, A, Liu, S, Cook, RB, Post, WM, Berthier, G, Hayes, D, Huang, M, Ito, A, Lei, H, Lu, C, Mao, J, Peng, CH, Peng, S, Poulter, B, Riccuito, D, Shi, X, Tian, H, Wang, W, Zeng, N, Zhao, F & Zhu, Q 2013, 'The North American carbon program multi-scale synthesis and terrestrial model intercomparison project - Part 1: Overview and experimental design', Geoscientific Model Development, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 2121-2133. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-6-2121-2013
Huntzinger, Deborah N ; Schwalm, Christopher R ; Michalak, A. M. ; Schaefer, K. ; King, A. W. ; Wei, Y. ; Jacobson, A. ; Liu, S. ; Cook, R. B. ; Post, W. M. ; Berthier, G. ; Hayes, D. ; Huang, M. ; Ito, A. ; Lei, H. ; Lu, C. ; Mao, J. ; Peng, C. H. ; Peng, S. ; Poulter, B. ; Riccuito, D. ; Shi, X. ; Tian, H. ; Wang, W. ; Zeng, N. ; Zhao, F. ; Zhu, Q. / The North American carbon program multi-scale synthesis and terrestrial model intercomparison project - Part 1 : Overview and experimental design. In: Geoscientific Model Development. 2013 ; Vol. 6, No. 6. pp. 2121-2133.
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