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Quantifying the Importance of Model-to-Model Variability in Integrated Assessments of 21st Century Climate

Presentation Date
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 8:00am
Moscone South - Poster Hall



The C4MIP and CMIP5 model intercomparison projects (MIPs) highlighted uncertainties in climate projections, driven to a large extent by interactions between the terrestrial carbon cycle and climate feedbacks. In addition, the importance of feedbacks between human (energy and economic) systems and natural (carbon and climate) systems is poorly understood, and not considered in the previous MIP protocols. The experiments conducted under the previous Integrated Earth System Model (iESM) project, which coupled a earth system model with an integrated assessment model (GCAM), found that the inclusion of climate feedbacks on the terrestrial system in an RCP4.5 scenario increased ecosystem productivity, resulting in declines in cropland extent and increases in bioenergy production and forest cover. As a follow-up to these studies and to further understand climate-carbon cycle interactions and feedbacks, we examined the robustness of these results by running a suite of GCAM-only experiments using changes in ecosystem productivity derived from both the CMIP5 archive and the Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project. In our results, the effects of climate on yield in an RCP8.5 scenario tended to be more positive than those of AgMIP, but more negative than those of the other CMIP models. We discuss these results and the implications of model-to-model variability for integrated coupling studies of the future earth system.

Funding Program Area(s)