A new, state-of-the-art tool to study ecosystem-climate interactions
Team members David Martin Belda, Almut Arneth and Peter Anthoni published an article in Geoscientific Model Development describing major developments into a state-of-the-art Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, LPJ-GUESS. These developments lay the ground work to use this tool to study complex interactions between the climate and the atmosphere.
The land ecosystems and the atmosphere are part of the same system, and are interconnected across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. These interactions are bi-directional; changes in climate (e.g. temperature or precipitation trends) will affect the ecosystem, but changes in the ecosystem (e.g. deforestation of large areas to plant crops) will also affect the local climate through biophysical interactions, and have an impact in the global carbon cycle. The changes implemented into LPJ-GUESS allow it to compute energy and water fluxes between the land ecosystem and the atmosphere in short (sub-daily) time scales, which is exactly what will allow it to communicate with atmospheric models "in real time". The energy and water fluxes calculated by the new schemes were evaluated against observations at a selection of sites with satisfactory results.
All the details can be found in the published paper: