Evaluation of CMIP5 Earth System Models in Reproducing Leaf Area Index and Vegetation Cover over the Tibetan Plateau

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  • Funds:

    Supported by the National Basic Research and Development (973) Program of China (2010CB950503 and 2013CB956004) andResearch Fund for Climate Change of the China Meteorological Administration (CCSF201403).

  • doi: 10.1007/s13351-014-4032-4

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  • The abilities of 12 earth system models (ESMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase5 (CMIP5) to reproduce satellite-derived vegetation biological variables over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) were examined. The results show that most of the models tend to overestimate the observed leaf area index (LAI) and vegetation carbon above the ground, with the possible reasons being overestimation of photosynthesis and precipitation. The model simulations show a consistent increasing trend with observed LAI over most of the TP during the reference period of 1986-2005, while they fail to reproduce the downward trend around the headstream of the Yellow River shown in the observation due to their coarse resolutions. Three of the models: CCSM4, CESM1-BGC, and NorESM1-ME, which share the same vegetation model, show some common strengths and weaknesses in their simulations according to our analysis. The model ensemble indicates a reasonable spatial distribution but overestimated land coverage, with a significant decreasing trend (-1.48% per decade) for tree coverage and a slight increasing trend (0.58% per decade) for bare ground during the period 1950-2005. No significant sign of variation is found for grass. To quantify the relative performance of the models in representing the observed mean state, seasonal cycle, and interannual variability, a model ranking method was performed with respect to simulated LAI. INMCM4, bcc-csm-1.1m, MPI-ESM-LR, IPSL CM5A-LR, HadGEM2-ES, and CCSM4 were ranked as the best six models in reproducing vegetation dynamics among the 12 models.
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    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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Evaluation of CMIP5 Earth System Models in Reproducing Leaf Area Index and Vegetation Cover over the Tibetan Plateau

  • 1. Earth System Modeling Center,Nanjing University of Information Science &Technology,Nanjing 210044;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000;
    Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000
Funds: Supported by the National Basic Research and Development (973) Program of China (2010CB950503 and 2013CB956004) andResearch Fund for Climate Change of the China Meteorological Administration (CCSF201403).

Abstract: The abilities of 12 earth system models (ESMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase5 (CMIP5) to reproduce satellite-derived vegetation biological variables over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) were examined. The results show that most of the models tend to overestimate the observed leaf area index (LAI) and vegetation carbon above the ground, with the possible reasons being overestimation of photosynthesis and precipitation. The model simulations show a consistent increasing trend with observed LAI over most of the TP during the reference period of 1986-2005, while they fail to reproduce the downward trend around the headstream of the Yellow River shown in the observation due to their coarse resolutions. Three of the models: CCSM4, CESM1-BGC, and NorESM1-ME, which share the same vegetation model, show some common strengths and weaknesses in their simulations according to our analysis. The model ensemble indicates a reasonable spatial distribution but overestimated land coverage, with a significant decreasing trend (-1.48% per decade) for tree coverage and a slight increasing trend (0.58% per decade) for bare ground during the period 1950-2005. No significant sign of variation is found for grass. To quantify the relative performance of the models in representing the observed mean state, seasonal cycle, and interannual variability, a model ranking method was performed with respect to simulated LAI. INMCM4, bcc-csm-1.1m, MPI-ESM-LR, IPSL CM5A-LR, HadGEM2-ES, and CCSM4 were ranked as the best six models in reproducing vegetation dynamics among the 12 models.

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