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Joy Clein
A. David McGuire
Eugenie S. Euskirchen
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Monika Calef


As part of the Western Arctic Linkage Experiment (WALE), simulations of carbon dynamics in the western Arctic (WALE region) were conducted during two recent decades by driving the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) with three alternative climate datasets. Among the three TEM simulations, we compared the mean monthly and interannual variability of three carbon fluxes: 1) net primary production (NPP), 2) heterotrophic respiration (Rh ), and 3) net ecosystem production (NEP). Cumulative changes in vegetation, soil, and total carbon storage among the simulations were also compared. This study supports the conclusion that the terrestrial carbon cycle is accelerating in the WALE region, with more rapid turnover of carbon for simulations driven by two of the three climates. The temperature differences among the climate datasets resulted in annual estimates of NPP and Rh that varied by a factor of 2.5 among the simulations. There is much spatial variability in the temporal trends of NPP and Rh across the region in the simulations driven by different climates, and the spatial pattern of trends is quite different among simulations. Thus, this study indicates that the overall response of NEP in simulations with TEM across the WALE region depends substantially on the temporal trends in the climate dataset used to drive the model. Similar to the recommendations of other studies in the WALE project, this study indicates that coupling methodologies should use anomalies of future climate model simulations to alter the climate of more trusted datasets for purposes of driving ecosystem models of carbon dynamics.

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