Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling
09 December 2016

The Land Use Model Intercomparison Project (LUMIP) Contribution to CMIP6: Rationale and experimental design


Human land-use activities have resulted in large changes to the Earth surface, with resulting implications for climate. In the future, land-use activities are likely to expand and intensify further to meet growing demands for food, fiber, and energy.  The Land Use Model Intercomparison Project (LUMIP) aims to further advance understanding of the impacts of land-use and land-cover change (LULCC) on climate, specifically addressing the questions: (1) What are the effects of LULCC on climate and biogeochemical cycling (past-future)?  (2) What are the impacts of land management on surface fluxes of carbon, water, and energy and are there regional land-management strategies with promise to help mitigate against climate change?  


In addressing these questions, LUMIP will also address a range of more detailed science questions to get at process-level attribution, uncertainty, data requirements, and other related issues in more depth and sophistication than possible in a multi-model context to date. There will be particular focus on the separation and quantification of the effects on climate from LULCC relative to all forcings, separation of biogeochemical from biogeophysical effects of land-use, the unique impacts of land-cover change versus land management change, modulation of land-use impact on climate by land-atmosphere coupling strength, and the extent that impacts of enhanced CO2 concentrations on plant photosynthesis are modulated by past and future land use.  


LUMIP involves three major sets of science activities: (1) development of an updated and expanded historical and future land-use dataset, (2) an experimental protocol for specific LUMIP experiments for CMIP6, and (3) definition of metrics and diagnostic protocols that quantify model performance, and related sensitivities, with respect to LULCC.  In this manuscript, we describe the LUMIP activity (2), i.e., the LUMIP simulations that will formally be part of CMIP6.

David Lawrence
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)