Evaluation of a terrestrial carbon cycle submodel in an Earth system model using networks of eddy covariance observations


Corresponding author.
e-mail: s0970031@ipc.fukushima-u.ac.jp


Improvement of terrestrial submodels in Earth system models (ESMs) is important to reduce uncertainties in future projections of global carbon cycle and climate. Since these submodels lack detailed validation, evaluation of terrestrial submodels using networks of field observations is necessary. The purpose of this study is to improve an ESM by refining a terrestrial submodel using eddy covariance observations. We evaluated the terrestrial submodel (MOSES2/TRIFFID) included in the UVic Earth System Climate Model (UVic-ESCM) and tested the effects of terrestrial submodel improvements on future projection of carbon cycle and climate. First, we evaluated the terrestrial submodel as an off-line mode at point scales using 48 eddy covariance observation data, and improved it through fixing model parameters and structures. The terrestrial submodel was improved with the reduction of the root mean square error and the closer simulation of the seasonal carbon fluxes. Second, using the UVic-ESCM with the improved terrestrial submodel, we confirmed model improvement at most observation sites. The terrestrial submodel refinement also affected future projections; the UVic-ESCM with the improved terrestrial submodel simulated 100 ppmv lower atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2100 compared with the default UVic-ESCM. Our study underscores the importance of refinement of terrestrial submodels in ESM simulations.