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  1. Abstract

    Agricultural expansion and management have greatly increased global food production and altered Earth's climate by changing physical and biogeochemical properties of terrestrial ecosystems. Few Earth system models represent agricultural management practices due to the complexity of the interactions between human decisions and biological processes on global scales. We describe the new capabilities of representing crop distributions and management in the Community Land Model (CLM) Version 5, which includes time‐varying spatial distributions of major crop types and their management through fertilization and irrigation, and temperature‐based phenological triggers. Including active crop management increases peak growing season gross primary productivity (GPP), increases the amplitude of Northern Hemisphere net ecosystem exchange, and changes seasonal and annual patterns of latent and sensible heat fluxes. The CLM5 crop model simulates the global observed historical trend of crop yields with relative fidelity from 1850 to 1990. Cropland expansion was important for increasing crop production, especially during the first century of the simulations, while fertilization and irrigation were important for increasing yields from 1950 onward. From 1990 to present day, observed crop production continued to increase while CLM5 production levels off, likely because intensification practices are not represented in the model. Specifically, CLM does not currently include increasing planting density, crop breeding and genetic modification, representations of tillage, or other management practices that may also affect crop‐climate and crop‐carbon cycle interactions and alter trends in yields. These results highlight the importance of including crop management in Earth system models, particularly as global data sets for parameterization and evaluation become more readily available.

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  2. Abstract

    Prior research indicates that land use and land cover change (LULCC) in the central United States has led to significant changes in surface climate. The spatial resolution of simulations is particularly relevant in this region due to its influence on model skill in capturing mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) and on representing the spatial heterogeneity. Recent advances in Earth system models (ESMs) make it feasible to use variable resolution (VR) meshes to study regional impacts of LULCC while avoiding inconsistencies introduced by lateral boundary conditions typically seen in limited area models. Here, we present numerical experiments using the Community Earth System Model version 2–VR to evaluate (1) the influence of resolution and land use on model skill and (2) impacts of LULCC over the central United States at different resolutions. These simulations are configured either on the 1° grid or a VR grid with grid refinement to 1/8° over the contiguous United States for the period of 1984–2010 with two alternative land use data sets corresponding to the preindustrial and present day states. Our results show that skill in simulating precipitation over the central United States is primarily dependent on resolution, whereas skill in simulating 2‐m temperature is more dependent on accurate land use. The VR experiments show stronger LULCC‐induced precipitation increases over the Midwest in May and June, corresponding to an increase in the number of MCS‐like features and a more conductive thermodynamic environment for convection. Our study demonstrates the potential of using VR ESMs for hydroclimatic simulations in regions with significant LULCC.

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  3. Abstract

    Results are presented and compared for the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) simulations of the middle Holocene (MH, 6 ka) and Last Interglacial (LIG, 127 ka). These simulations are designated as Tier 1 experiments (midHoloceneandlig127k) for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) and the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project phase 4 (PMIP4). They use the low‐top, standard 1° version of CESM2 contributing to CMIP6 DECK, historical, and future projection simulations, and to other modeling intercomparison projects. ThemidHoloceneandlig127kprovide the opportunity to examine the responses in CESM2 to the orbitally induced changes in the seasonal and latitudinal distribution of insolation. The insolation anomalies result in summer warming over the Northern Hemisphere continents, reduced Arctic summer minimum sea ice, and increased areal extent of the North African monsoon. The Arctic remains warm throughout the year. These changes are greater in thelig127kthanmidHolocenesimulation. Other notable changes are reduction of the Niño3.4 variability and Drake Passage transport and a small increase in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation from thepiControltomidHolocenetolig127ksimulation. Comparisons to paleo‐data and to simulations from previous model versions are discussed. Possible reasons for mismatches with the paleo‐observations are proposed, including missing processes in CESM2, simplifications in the CMIP6 protocols for these experiments, and dating and calibration uncertainties in the data reconstructions.

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