Representation of deforestation impacts on climate, water, and nutrient cycles in the ACME earth system model

Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 13:40
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Deforestation causes a series of changes to the climate, water, and nutrient cycles. Employing a state-of-the-art earth system model—ACME (Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy), we comprehensively investigate the impacts of deforestation on these processes. We first assess the performance of the ACME Land Model (ALM) in simulating runoff, evapotranspiration, albedo, and plant productivity at 42 FLUXNET sites. The single column mode of ACME is then used to examine climate effects (temperature cooling/warming) and responses of runoff, evapotranspiration, and nutrient fluxes to deforestation. This approach separates local effects of deforestation from global circulation effects. To better understand the deforestation effects in a global context, we use the coupled (atmosphere, land, and slab ocean) mode of ACME to demonstrate the impacts of deforestation on global climate, water, and nutrient fluxes. Preliminary results showed that the land component of ACME has advantages in simulating these processes and that local deforestation has potentially large impacts on runoff and atmospheric processes.

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