A model-data intercomparison of CO2 exchange across North America

Results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis

Christopher R. Schwalm, Christopher A. Williams, Kevin Schaefer, Ryan Anderson, M. Altaf Arain, Ian Baker, Alan Barr, T. Andrew Black, Guangsheng Chen, Jing Ming Chen, Philippe Ciais, Kenneth James Davis, Ankur Desai, Michael Dietze, Danilo Dragoni, Marc L. Fischer, Lawrence B. Flanagan, Robert Grant, Lianhong Gu, David Hollinger & 27 others R. Csar Izaurralde, Chris Kucharik, Peter Lafleur, Beverly E. Law, Longhui Li, Zhengpeng Li, Shuguang Liu, Erandathie Lokupitiya, Yiqi Luo, Siyan Ma, Hank Margolis, Roser Matamala, Harry McCaughey, Russell K. Monson, Walter C. Oechel, Changhui Peng, Benjamin Poulter, David T. Price, Dan M. Riciutto, William Riley, Alok Kumar Sahoo, Michael Sprintsin, Jianfeng Sun, Hanqin Tian, Christina Tonitto, Hans Verbeeck, Shashi B. Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

193 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Our current understanding of terrestrial carbon processes is represented in various models used to integrate and scale measurements of CO2 exchange from remote sensing and other spatiotemporal data. Yet assessments are rarely conducted to determine how well models simulate carbon processes across vegetation types and environmental conditions. Using standardized data from the North American Carbon Program we compare observed and simulated monthly CO 2 exchange from 44 eddy covariance flux towers in North America and 22 terrestrial biosphere models. The analysis period spans ∼220 site-years, 10 biomes, and includes two large-scale drought events, providing a natural experiment to evaluate model skill as a function of drought and seasonality. We evaluate models' ability to simulate the seasonal cycle of CO2 exchange using multiple model skill metrics and analyze links between model characteristics, site history, and model skill. Overall model performance was poor; the difference between observations and simulations was ∼10 times observational uncertainty, with forested ecosystems better predicted than nonforested. Model-data agreement was highest in summer and in temperate evergreen forests. In contrast, model performance declined in spring and fall, especially in ecosystems with large deciduous components, and in dry periods during the growing season. Models used across multiple biomes and sites, the mean model ensemble, and a model using assimilated parameter values showed high consistency with observations. Models with the highest skill across all biomes all used prescribed canopy phenology, calculated NEE as the difference between GPP and ecosystem respiration, and did not use a daily time step.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberG00H05
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Volume115
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

Fingerprint

Carbon
synthesis
carbon
ecosystems
biome
Ecosystems
drought
Drought
programme
North America
ecosystem
phenology
biosphere
ecosystem respiration
canopies
evergreen forest
eddy covariance
respiration
towers
Carbon Monoxide

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Schwalm, Christopher R. ; Williams, Christopher A. ; Schaefer, Kevin ; Anderson, Ryan ; Arain, M. Altaf ; Baker, Ian ; Barr, Alan ; Black, T. Andrew ; Chen, Guangsheng ; Chen, Jing Ming ; Ciais, Philippe ; Davis, Kenneth James ; Desai, Ankur ; Dietze, Michael ; Dragoni, Danilo ; Fischer, Marc L. ; Flanagan, Lawrence B. ; Grant, Robert ; Gu, Lianhong ; Hollinger, David ; Izaurralde, R. Csar ; Kucharik, Chris ; Lafleur, Peter ; Law, Beverly E. ; Li, Longhui ; Li, Zhengpeng ; Liu, Shuguang ; Lokupitiya, Erandathie ; Luo, Yiqi ; Ma, Siyan ; Margolis, Hank ; Matamala, Roser ; McCaughey, Harry ; Monson, Russell K. ; Oechel, Walter C. ; Peng, Changhui ; Poulter, Benjamin ; Price, David T. ; Riciutto, Dan M. ; Riley, William ; Sahoo, Alok Kumar ; Sprintsin, Michael ; Sun, Jianfeng ; Tian, Hanqin ; Tonitto, Christina ; Verbeeck, Hans ; Verma, Shashi B. / A model-data intercomparison of CO2 exchange across North America : Results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 2010 ; Vol. 115, No. 4.
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abstract = "Our current understanding of terrestrial carbon processes is represented in various models used to integrate and scale measurements of CO2 exchange from remote sensing and other spatiotemporal data. Yet assessments are rarely conducted to determine how well models simulate carbon processes across vegetation types and environmental conditions. Using standardized data from the North American Carbon Program we compare observed and simulated monthly CO 2 exchange from 44 eddy covariance flux towers in North America and 22 terrestrial biosphere models. The analysis period spans ∼220 site-years, 10 biomes, and includes two large-scale drought events, providing a natural experiment to evaluate model skill as a function of drought and seasonality. We evaluate models' ability to simulate the seasonal cycle of CO2 exchange using multiple model skill metrics and analyze links between model characteristics, site history, and model skill. Overall model performance was poor; the difference between observations and simulations was ∼10 times observational uncertainty, with forested ecosystems better predicted than nonforested. Model-data agreement was highest in summer and in temperate evergreen forests. In contrast, model performance declined in spring and fall, especially in ecosystems with large deciduous components, and in dry periods during the growing season. Models used across multiple biomes and sites, the mean model ensemble, and a model using assimilated parameter values showed high consistency with observations. Models with the highest skill across all biomes all used prescribed canopy phenology, calculated NEE as the difference between GPP and ecosystem respiration, and did not use a daily time step.",
author = "Schwalm, {Christopher R.} and Williams, {Christopher A.} and Kevin Schaefer and Ryan Anderson and Arain, {M. Altaf} and Ian Baker and Alan Barr and Black, {T. Andrew} and Guangsheng Chen and Chen, {Jing Ming} and Philippe Ciais and Davis, {Kenneth James} and Ankur Desai and Michael Dietze and Danilo Dragoni and Fischer, {Marc L.} and Flanagan, {Lawrence B.} and Robert Grant and Lianhong Gu and David Hollinger and Izaurralde, {R. Csar} and Chris Kucharik and Peter Lafleur and Law, {Beverly E.} and Longhui Li and Zhengpeng Li and Shuguang Liu and Erandathie Lokupitiya and Yiqi Luo and Siyan Ma and Hank Margolis and Roser Matamala and Harry McCaughey and Monson, {Russell K.} and Oechel, {Walter C.} and Changhui Peng and Benjamin Poulter and Price, {David T.} and Riciutto, {Dan M.} and William Riley and Sahoo, {Alok Kumar} and Michael Sprintsin and Jianfeng Sun and Hanqin Tian and Christina Tonitto and Hans Verbeeck and Verma, {Shashi B.}",
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Schwalm, CR, Williams, CA, Schaefer, K, Anderson, R, Arain, MA, Baker, I, Barr, A, Black, TA, Chen, G, Chen, JM, Ciais, P, Davis, KJ, Desai, A, Dietze, M, Dragoni, D, Fischer, ML, Flanagan, LB, Grant, R, Gu, L, Hollinger, D, Izaurralde, RC, Kucharik, C, Lafleur, P, Law, BE, Li, L, Li, Z, Liu, S, Lokupitiya, E, Luo, Y, Ma, S, Margolis, H, Matamala, R, McCaughey, H, Monson, RK, Oechel, WC, Peng, C, Poulter, B, Price, DT, Riciutto, DM, Riley, W, Sahoo, AK, Sprintsin, M, Sun, J, Tian, H, Tonitto, C, Verbeeck, H & Verma, SB 2010, 'A model-data intercomparison of CO2 exchange across North America: Results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis', Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, vol. 115, no. 4, G00H05. https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JG001229

A model-data intercomparison of CO2 exchange across North America : Results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis. / Schwalm, Christopher R.; Williams, Christopher A.; Schaefer, Kevin; Anderson, Ryan; Arain, M. Altaf; Baker, Ian; Barr, Alan; Black, T. Andrew; Chen, Guangsheng; Chen, Jing Ming; Ciais, Philippe; Davis, Kenneth James; Desai, Ankur; Dietze, Michael; Dragoni, Danilo; Fischer, Marc L.; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Grant, Robert; Gu, Lianhong; Hollinger, David; Izaurralde, R. Csar; Kucharik, Chris; Lafleur, Peter; Law, Beverly E.; Li, Longhui; Li, Zhengpeng; Liu, Shuguang; Lokupitiya, Erandathie; Luo, Yiqi; Ma, Siyan; Margolis, Hank; Matamala, Roser; McCaughey, Harry; Monson, Russell K.; Oechel, Walter C.; Peng, Changhui; Poulter, Benjamin; Price, David T.; Riciutto, Dan M.; Riley, William; Sahoo, Alok Kumar; Sprintsin, Michael; Sun, Jianfeng; Tian, Hanqin; Tonitto, Christina; Verbeeck, Hans; Verma, Shashi B.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 115, No. 4, G00H05, 01.09.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A model-data intercomparison of CO2 exchange across North America

T2 - Results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis

AU - Schwalm, Christopher R.

AU - Williams, Christopher A.

AU - Schaefer, Kevin

AU - Anderson, Ryan

AU - Arain, M. Altaf

AU - Baker, Ian

AU - Barr, Alan

AU - Black, T. Andrew

AU - Chen, Guangsheng

AU - Chen, Jing Ming

AU - Ciais, Philippe

AU - Davis, Kenneth James

AU - Desai, Ankur

AU - Dietze, Michael

AU - Dragoni, Danilo

AU - Fischer, Marc L.

AU - Flanagan, Lawrence B.

AU - Grant, Robert

AU - Gu, Lianhong

AU - Hollinger, David

AU - Izaurralde, R. Csar

AU - Kucharik, Chris

AU - Lafleur, Peter

AU - Law, Beverly E.

AU - Li, Longhui

AU - Li, Zhengpeng

AU - Liu, Shuguang

AU - Lokupitiya, Erandathie

AU - Luo, Yiqi

AU - Ma, Siyan

AU - Margolis, Hank

AU - Matamala, Roser

AU - McCaughey, Harry

AU - Monson, Russell K.

AU - Oechel, Walter C.

AU - Peng, Changhui

AU - Poulter, Benjamin

AU - Price, David T.

AU - Riciutto, Dan M.

AU - Riley, William

AU - Sahoo, Alok Kumar

AU - Sprintsin, Michael

AU - Sun, Jianfeng

AU - Tian, Hanqin

AU - Tonitto, Christina

AU - Verbeeck, Hans

AU - Verma, Shashi B.

PY - 2010/9/1

Y1 - 2010/9/1

N2 - Our current understanding of terrestrial carbon processes is represented in various models used to integrate and scale measurements of CO2 exchange from remote sensing and other spatiotemporal data. Yet assessments are rarely conducted to determine how well models simulate carbon processes across vegetation types and environmental conditions. Using standardized data from the North American Carbon Program we compare observed and simulated monthly CO 2 exchange from 44 eddy covariance flux towers in North America and 22 terrestrial biosphere models. The analysis period spans ∼220 site-years, 10 biomes, and includes two large-scale drought events, providing a natural experiment to evaluate model skill as a function of drought and seasonality. We evaluate models' ability to simulate the seasonal cycle of CO2 exchange using multiple model skill metrics and analyze links between model characteristics, site history, and model skill. Overall model performance was poor; the difference between observations and simulations was ∼10 times observational uncertainty, with forested ecosystems better predicted than nonforested. Model-data agreement was highest in summer and in temperate evergreen forests. In contrast, model performance declined in spring and fall, especially in ecosystems with large deciduous components, and in dry periods during the growing season. Models used across multiple biomes and sites, the mean model ensemble, and a model using assimilated parameter values showed high consistency with observations. Models with the highest skill across all biomes all used prescribed canopy phenology, calculated NEE as the difference between GPP and ecosystem respiration, and did not use a daily time step.

AB - Our current understanding of terrestrial carbon processes is represented in various models used to integrate and scale measurements of CO2 exchange from remote sensing and other spatiotemporal data. Yet assessments are rarely conducted to determine how well models simulate carbon processes across vegetation types and environmental conditions. Using standardized data from the North American Carbon Program we compare observed and simulated monthly CO 2 exchange from 44 eddy covariance flux towers in North America and 22 terrestrial biosphere models. The analysis period spans ∼220 site-years, 10 biomes, and includes two large-scale drought events, providing a natural experiment to evaluate model skill as a function of drought and seasonality. We evaluate models' ability to simulate the seasonal cycle of CO2 exchange using multiple model skill metrics and analyze links between model characteristics, site history, and model skill. Overall model performance was poor; the difference between observations and simulations was ∼10 times observational uncertainty, with forested ecosystems better predicted than nonforested. Model-data agreement was highest in summer and in temperate evergreen forests. In contrast, model performance declined in spring and fall, especially in ecosystems with large deciduous components, and in dry periods during the growing season. Models used across multiple biomes and sites, the mean model ensemble, and a model using assimilated parameter values showed high consistency with observations. Models with the highest skill across all biomes all used prescribed canopy phenology, calculated NEE as the difference between GPP and ecosystem respiration, and did not use a daily time step.

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