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Lori T. Sentman, Elena Shevliakova, Ronald J. Stouffer, and Sergey Malyshev

Abstract

The dynamic vegetation and carbon cycling component, LM3V, of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) prototype Earth system model (ESM2.1), has been designed to simulate the effects of land use on terrestrial carbon pools, including secondary vegetation regrowth. Because of the long time scales associated with the carbon adjustment, special consideration is required when initializing the ESM when historical simulations are conducted. Starting from an equilibrated, preindustrial climate and potential vegetation state in an offline land-only model (LM3V), estimates of historical land use are instantaneously applied in five experiments beginning in the following calendar years: 1500, 1600, 1700, 1750, and 1800. This application results in the land carbon pools experiencing an abrupt change—a carbon shock—and the secondary vegetation needs time to regrow into consistency with the harvesting history. The authors find that it takes approximately 100 years for the vegetation to recover from the carbon shock, whereas soils take at least 150 years to recover. The vegetation carbon response is driven primarily by land-use history, whereas the soil carbon response is affected by both land-use history and the geographic pattern of soil respiration rates. Based on these results, the authors recommend the application of historical land-use scenarios in 1700 to provide sufficient time for the land carbon in ESMs with secondary vegetation to equilibrate to adequately simulate carbon stores at the start of the historical integrations (i.e., 1860) in a computationally efficient manner.

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Sergey Malyshev, Elena Shevliakova, Ronald J. Stouffer, and Stephen W. Pacala

Abstract

The effects of land-use and land-cover change (LULCC) on surface climate using two ensembles of numerical experiments with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) comprehensive Earth System Model ESM2Mb are investigated in this study. The experiments simulate historical climate with two different assumptions about LULCC: 1) no land-use change with potential vegetation (PV) and 2) with the CMIP5 historical reconstruction of LULCC (LU). Two different approaches were used in the analysis: 1) the authors compare differences in LU and PV climates to evaluate the regional and global effects of LULCC and 2) the authors characterize subgrid climate differences among different land-use tiles within each grid cell in the LU experiment. Using the first method, the authors estimate the magnitude of LULCC effect to be similar to some previous studies. Using the second method, the authors found a pronounced subgrid signal of LULCC in near-surface temperature over majority of areas affected by LULCC. The signal is strongest on croplands, where it is detectable with 95% confidence over 68.5% of all nonglaciated land grid cells in June–July–August, compared to 8.3% in the first method. In agricultural areas, the subgrid signal tends to be stronger than LU–PV signal by a factor of 1.3 in tropics in both summer and winter and by 1.5 in extratropics in winter. This analysis for the first time demonstrates and quantifies the local, subgrid-scale LULCC effects with a comprehensive ESM and compares it to previous global and regional approaches.

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Alexis Berg, Benjamin R. Lintner, Kirsten L. Findell, Sergey Malyshev, Paul C. Loikith, and Pierre Gentine

Abstract

Understanding how different physical processes can shape the probability distribution function (PDF) of surface temperature, in particular the tails of the distribution, is essential for the attribution and projection of future extreme temperature events. In this study, the contribution of soil moisture–atmosphere interactions to surface temperature PDFs is investigated. Soil moisture represents a key variable in the coupling of the land and atmosphere, since it controls the partitioning of available energy between sensible and latent heat flux at the surface. Consequently, soil moisture variability driven by the atmosphere may feed back onto the near-surface climate—in particular, temperature. In this study, two simulations of the current-generation Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Earth System Model, with and without interactive soil moisture, are analyzed in order to assess how soil moisture dynamics impact the simulated climate. Comparison of these simulations shows that soil moisture dynamics enhance both temperature mean and variance over regional “hotspots” of land–atmosphere coupling. Moreover, higher-order distribution moments, such as skewness and kurtosis, are also significantly impacted, suggesting an asymmetric impact on the positive and negative extremes of the temperature PDF. Such changes are interpreted in the context of altered distributions of the surface turbulent and radiative fluxes. That the moments of the temperature distribution may respond differentially to soil moisture dynamics underscores the importance of analyzing moments beyond the mean and variance to characterize fully the interplay of soil moisture and near-surface temperature. In addition, it is shown that soil moisture dynamics impacts daily temperature variability at different time scales over different regions in the model.

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Zachary Naiman, Paul J. Goodman, John P. Krasting, Sergey L. Malyshev, Joellen L. Russell, Ronald J. Stouffer, and Andrew T. Wittenberg

Abstract

Two state-of-the-art Earth system models (ESMs) were used in an idealized experiment to explore the role of mountains in shaping Earth’s climate system. Similar to previous studies, removing mountains from both ESMs results in the winds becoming more zonal and weaker Indian and Asian monsoon circulations. However, there are also broad changes to the Walker circulation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Without orography, convection moves across the entire equatorial Indo-Pacific basin on interannual time scales. ENSO has a stronger amplitude, lower frequency, and increased regularity. A wider equatorial wind zone and changes to equatorial wind stress curl result in a colder cold tongue and a steeper equatorial thermocline across the Pacific basin during La Niña years. Anomalies associated with ENSO warm events are larger without mountains and have greater impact on the mean tropical climate than when mountains are present. Without mountains, the centennial-mean Pacific Walker circulation weakens in both models by approximately 45%, but the strength of the mean Hadley circulation changes by less than 2%. Changes in the Walker circulation in these experiments can be explained by the large spatial excursions of atmospheric deep convection on interannual time scales. These results suggest that mountains are an important control on the large-scale tropical circulation, impacting ENSO dynamics and the Walker circulation, but have little impact on the strength of the Hadley circulation.

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Yan Yu, John P. Dunne, Elena Shevliakova, Paul Ginoux, Sergey Malyshev, Jasmin G. John, and John P. Krasting
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John P. Krasting, Ronald J. Stouffer, Stephen M. Griffies, Robert W. Hallberg, Sergey L. Malyshev, Bonita L. Samuels, and Lori T. Sentman

Abstract

Oceanic heat uptake (OHU) is a significant source of uncertainty in both the transient and equilibrium responses to increasing the planetary radiative forcing. OHU differs among climate models and is related in part to their representation of vertical and lateral mixing. This study examines the role of ocean model formulation—specifically the choice of the vertical coordinate and the strength of the background diapycnal diffusivity K d—in the millennial-scale near-equilibrium climate response to a quadrupling of atmospheric CO2. Using two fully coupled Earth system models (ESMs) with nearly identical atmosphere, land, sea ice, and biogeochemical components, it is possible to independently configure their ocean model components with different formulations and produce similar near-equilibrium climate responses. The SST responses are similar between the two models (r 2 = 0.75, global average ~4.3°C) despite their initial preindustrial climate mean states differing by 0.4°C globally. The surface and interior responses of temperature and salinity are also similar between the two models. However, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) responses are different between the two models, and the associated differences in ventilation and deep-water formation have an impact on the accumulation of dissolved inorganic carbon in the ocean interior. A parameter sensitivity analysis demonstrates that increasing the amount of K d produces very different near-equilibrium climate responses within a given model. These results suggest that the impact of the ocean vertical coordinate on the climate response is small relative to the representation of subgrid-scale mixing.

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P. C. D. Milly, Sergey L. Malyshev, Elena Shevliakova, Krista A. Dunne, Kirsten L. Findell, Tom Gleeson, Zhi Liang, Peter Phillipps, Ronald J. Stouffer, and Sean Swenson

Abstract

LM3 is a new model of terrestrial water, energy, and carbon, intended for use in global hydrologic analyses and as a component of earth-system and physical-climate models. It is designed to improve upon the performance and to extend the scope of the predecessor Land Dynamics (LaD) and LM3V models by better quantifying the physical controls of climate and biogeochemistry and by relating more directly to components of the global water system that touch human concerns. LM3 includes multilayer representations of temperature, liquid water content, and ice content of both snowpack and macroporous soil–bedrock; topography-based description of saturated area and groundwater discharge; and transport of runoff to the ocean via a global river and lake network. Sensible heat transport by water mass is accounted throughout for a complete energy balance. Carbon and vegetation dynamics and biophysics are represented as in LM3V. In numerical experiments, LM3 avoids some of the limitations of the LaD model and provides qualitatively (though not always quantitatively) reasonable estimates, from a global perspective, of observed spatial and/or temporal variations of vegetation density, albedo, streamflow, water-table depth, permafrost, and lake levels. Amplitude and phase of annual cycle of total water storage are simulated well. Realism of modeled lake levels varies widely. The water table tends to be consistently too shallow in humid regions. Biophysical properties have an artificial stepwise spatial structure, and equilibrium vegetation is sensitive to initial conditions. Explicit resolution of thick (>100 m) unsaturated zones and permafrost is possible, but only at the cost of long (≫300 yr) model spinup times.

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Alexis Berg, Benjamin R. Lintner, Kirsten Findell, Sonia I. Seneviratne, Bart van den Hurk, Agnès Ducharne, Frédérique Chéruy, Stefan Hagemann, David M. Lawrence, Sergey Malyshev, Arndt Meier, and Pierre Gentine

Abstract

Widespread negative correlations between summertime-mean temperatures and precipitation over land regions are a well-known feature of terrestrial climate. This behavior has generally been interpreted in the context of soil moisture–atmosphere coupling, with soil moisture deficits associated with reduced rainfall leading to enhanced surface sensible heating and higher surface temperature. The present study revisits the genesis of these negative temperature–precipitation correlations using simulations from the Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment–phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (GLACE-CMIP5) multimodel experiment. The analyses are based on simulations with five climate models, which were integrated with prescribed (noninteractive) and with interactive soil moisture over the period 1950–2100. While the results presented here generally confirm the interpretation that negative correlations between seasonal temperature and precipitation arise through the direct control of soil moisture on surface heat flux partitioning, the presence of widespread negative correlations when soil moisture–atmosphere interactions are artificially removed in at least two out of five models suggests that atmospheric processes, in addition to land surface processes, contribute to the observed negative temperature–precipitation correlation. On longer time scales, the negative correlation between precipitation and temperature is shown to have implications for the projection of climate change impacts on near-surface climate: in all models, in the regions of strongest temperature–precipitation anticorrelation on interannual time scales, long-term regional warming is modulated to a large extent by the regional response of precipitation to climate change, with precipitation increases (decreases) being associated with minimum (maximum) warming. This correspondence appears to arise largely as the result of soil moisture–atmosphere interactions.

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John P. Dunne, Jasmin G. John, Alistair J. Adcroft, Stephen M. Griffies, Robert W. Hallberg, Elena Shevliakova, Ronald J. Stouffer, William Cooke, Krista A. Dunne, Matthew J. Harrison, John P. Krasting, Sergey L. Malyshev, P. C. D. Milly, Peter J. Phillipps, Lori T. Sentman, Bonita L. Samuels, Michael J. Spelman, Michael Winton, Andrew T. Wittenberg, and Niki Zadeh

Abstract

The physical climate formulation and simulation characteristics of two new global coupled carbon–climate Earth System Models, ESM2M and ESM2G, are described. These models demonstrate similar climate fidelity as the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory’s previous Climate Model version 2.1 (CM2.1) while incorporating explicit and consistent carbon dynamics. The two models differ exclusively in the physical ocean component; ESM2M uses Modular Ocean Model version 4p1 with vertical pressure layers while ESM2G uses Generalized Ocean Layer Dynamics with a bulk mixed layer and interior isopycnal layers. Differences in the ocean mean state include the thermocline depth being relatively deep in ESM2M and relatively shallow in ESM2G compared to observations. The crucial role of ocean dynamics on climate variability is highlighted in El Niño–Southern Oscillation being overly strong in ESM2M and overly weak in ESM2G relative to observations. Thus, while ESM2G might better represent climate changes relating to total heat content variability given its lack of long-term drift, gyre circulation, and ventilation in the North Pacific, tropical Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, and depth structure in the overturning and abyssal flows, ESM2M might better represent climate changes relating to surface circulation given its superior surface temperature, salinity, and height patterns, tropical Pacific circulation and variability, and Southern Ocean dynamics. The overall assessment is that neither model is fundamentally superior to the other, and that both models achieve sufficient fidelity to allow meaningful climate and earth system modeling applications. This affords the ability to assess the role of ocean configuration on earth system interactions in the context of two state-of-the-art coupled carbon–climate models.

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Randal D. Koster, Y. C. Sud, Zhichang Guo, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Gordon Bonan, Keith W. Oleson, Edmond Chan, Diana Verseghy, Peter Cox, Harvey Davies, Eva Kowalczyk, C. T. Gordon, Shinjiro Kanae, David Lawrence, Ping Liu, David Mocko, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Ken Mitchell, Sergey Malyshev, Bryant McAvaney, Taikan Oki, Tomohito Yamada, Andrew Pitman, Christopher M. Taylor, Ratko Vasic, and Yongkang Xue

Abstract

The Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) is a model intercomparison study focusing on a typically neglected yet critical element of numerical weather and climate modeling: land–atmosphere coupling strength, or the degree to which anomalies in land surface state (e.g., soil moisture) can affect rainfall generation and other atmospheric processes. The 12 AGCM groups participating in GLACE performed a series of simple numerical experiments that allow the objective quantification of this element for boreal summer. The derived coupling strengths vary widely. Some similarity, however, is found in the spatial patterns generated by the models, with enough similarity to pinpoint multimodel “hot spots” of land–atmosphere coupling. For boreal summer, such hot spots for precipitation and temperature are found over large regions of Africa, central North America, and India; a hot spot for temperature is also found over eastern China. The design of the GLACE simulations are described in full detail so that any interested modeling group can repeat them easily and thereby place their model’s coupling strength within the broad range of those documented here.

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