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  1. Abstract. Climate simulation uncertainties arise from internal variability, model structure, and external forcings. Model intercomparisons (such as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project; CMIP) and single-model large ensembles have provided insight into uncertainty sources. Under the Community Earth System Model (CESM) project, large ensembles have been performed for CESM2 (a CMIP6-era model) and CESM1 (a CMIP5-era model). We refer to these as CESM2-LE and CESM1-LE. The external forcing used in these simulations has changed to be consistent with their CMIP generation. As a result, differences between CESM2-LE and CESM1-LE ensemble means arise from changes in both model structure and forcing. Here we present new ensemble simulations which allow us to separate the influences of these model structural and forcing differences. Our new CESM2 simulations are run with CMIP5 forcings equivalent to those used in the CESM1-LE. We find a strong influence of historical forcing uncertainty due to aerosol effects on simulated climate. For the historical period, forcing drives reduced global warming and ocean heat uptake in CESM2-LE relative to CESM1-LE that is counteracted by the influence of model structure. The influence of the model structure and forcing vary across the globe, and the Arctic exhibits a distinct signal that contrasts with the global mean. For the 21st century, the importance of scenario forcing differences (SSP3–7.0 for CESM2-LE and RCP8.5 for CESM1-LE) is evident. The new simulations presented here allow us to diagnose the influence of model structure on 21st century change, despite large scenario forcing differences, revealing that differences in the meridional distribution of warming are caused by model structure. Feedback analysis reveals that clouds and their impact on shortwave radiation explain many of these structural differences between CESM2 and CESM1. In the Arctic, albedo changes control transient climate evolution differences due to structural differences between CESM2 and CESM1.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    A land process model, Integrated Science Assessment Model, is extended to simulate contemporary soybean and maize crop yields accurately and changes in yields over the period 1901–2100 driven by environmental factors (atmospheric CO2level ([CO2]) and climate), and management factors (nitrogen input and irrigation). Over the twentieth century, each factor contributes to global yield increase; increasing nitrogen fertilization rates is the strongest driver for maize, and increasing [CO2] is the strongest for soybean. Over the 21st century, crop yields are projected under two future scenarios, RCP4.5‐SSP2 and RCP8.5‐SSP5; the warmer temperature drives yields lower, while rising [CO2] drives yields higher. The adverse warmer temperature effect of maize and soybean is offset by other drivers, particularly the increase in [CO2], and resultant changes in the phenological events due to climate change, particularly planting dates and harvesting times, by 2090s under both scenarios. Global yield for maize increases under RCP4.5‐SSP2, which experiences continued growth in [CO2] and higher nitrogen input rates. For soybean, yield increases at a similar rate. However, in RCP8.5‐SSP5, maize yield declines because of greater climate warming, extreme heat stress conditions, and weaker nitrogen fertilization than RCP4.5‐SSP2, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions, suggesting that application of advanced technologies, and stronger management practices, in addition to climate change mitigation, may be needed to intensify crop production over this century. The model also projects spatial variations in yields; notably, the higher temperatures in tropical and subtropical regions limit photosynthesis rates and reduce light interception, resulting in lower yields, particularly for soybean under RCP8.5‐SSP5.

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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Abstract

    Large-scale changes in the state of the land surface affect the circulation of the atmosphere and the structure and function of ecosystems alike. As global temperatures increase and regional climates change, the timing of key plant phenophase changes are likely to shift as well. Here we evaluate a suite of phenometrics designed to facilitate an “apples to apples” comparison between remote sensing products and climate model output. Specifically, we derive day-of-year (DOY) thresholds of leaf area index (LAI) from both remote sensing and the Community Land Model (CLM) over the Northern Hemisphere. This systematic approach to comparing phenologically relevant variables reveals appreciable differences in both LAI seasonal cycle and spring onset timing between model simulated phenology and satellite records. For example, phenological spring onset in the model occurs on average 30 days later than observed, especially for evergreen plant functional types. The disagreement in phenology can result in a mean bias of approximately 5% of the total estimated Northern Hemisphere NPP. Further, while the more recent version of CLM (v5.0) exhibits seasonal mean LAI values that are in closer agreement with satellite data than its predecessor (CLM4.5), LAI seasonal cycles in CLM5.0 exhibit poorer agreement. Therefore, despite broad improvements for a range of states and fluxes from CLM4.5 to CLM5.0, degradation of plant phenology occurs in CLM5.0. Therefore, any coupling between the land surface and the atmosphere that depends on vegetation state might not be fully captured by the existing generation of the model. We also discuss several avenues for improving the fidelity between observations and model simulations.

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  5. 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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  6. 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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