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Publication Date
17 July 2023

Global evaluation of terrestrial biogeochemistry in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) and the role of the phosphorus cycle in the historical terrestrial carbon balance



The importance of carbon (C)–nutrient interactions to the prediction of future C uptake has long been recognized. The Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) land model (ELM) version 1 is one of the few land surface models that include both N and P cycling and limitation (ELMv1-CNP). Here we provide a global-scale evaluation of ELMv1-CNP using the International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) system. We show that ELMv1-CNP produces realistic estimates of present-day carbon pools and fluxes. Compared to simulations with optimal P availability, simulations with ELMv1-CNP produce better performance, particularly for simulated biomass, leaf area index (LAI), and global net C balance. We also show ELMv1-CNP-simulated N and P cycling is in good agreement with data-driven estimates. We compared the ELMv1-CNP-simulated response to CO2 enrichment with meta-analysis of observations from similar manipulation experiments. We show that ELMv1-CNP is able to capture the field-observed responses for photosynthesis, growth, and LAI. We investigated the role of P limitation in the historical balance and show that global C sources and sinks are significantly affected by P limitation, as the historical CO2 fertilization effect was reduced by 20 % and C emission due to land use and land cover change was 11 % lower when P limitation was considered. Our simulations suggest that the introduction of P cycle dynamics and C–N–P coupling will likely have substantial consequences for projections of future C uptake.

Yang, Xiaojuan, Peter E. Thornton, Daniel M Ricciuto, Yilong Wang, and Forrest M Hoffman. 2023. “Global Evaluation Of Terrestrial Biogeochemistry In The Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3Sm) And The Role Of The Phosphorus Cycle In The Historical Terrestrial Carbon Balance”. Biogeosciences 20: 2813–2836. doi:10.5194/bg-20-2813-2023.
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