Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2021-10
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2021-10

  19 Mar 2021

19 Mar 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal NPG and is expected to appear here in due course.

Identification of linear response functions from arbitrary perturbation experiments in the presence of noise – Part II. Application to the land carbon cycle in the MPI Earth System Model

Guilherme L. Torres Mendonça1,2, Julia Pongratz2,3, and Christian H. Reick2 Guilherme L. Torres Mendonça et al.
  • 1International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Ludwig-Maxmillians-Universität München, Munich, Germany

Abstract. The Response Function Identification method introduced in the first part of this study is applied here to investigate the land carbon cycle in the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Earth System Model. We identify from standard C4MIP 1 % experiments the linear response functions that generalize the land carbon sensitivities β and γ. The identification of these generalized sensitivities is shown to be robust by demonstrating their predictive power when applied to experiments not used for their identification. The linear regime for which the generalized framework is valid is estimated, and approaches to improve the quality of the results are proposed. For the generalized γ-sensitivity, the response is found to be linear for temperature perturbations until at least 6 K. When this sensitivity is identified from a 2 x CO2 experiment instead of the 1 % experiment, its predictive power improves, indicating an enhancement in the quality of the identification. For the generalized β-sensitivity, the linear regime is found to extend up to CO2 perturbations of 100 ppm. We find that nonlinearities in the β-response arise mainly from the nonlinear relationship between Net Primary Production and CO2. By taking instead of CO2 the resulting Net Primary Production as forcing, the response is approximately linear until CO2 perturbations of about 850 ppm. Taking Net Primary Production as forcing also substantially improves the spectral resolution of the generalized β-sensitivity. For the best recovery of this sensitivity, we find a spectrum of internal time scales with two peaks, at 4 and 100 years. Robustness of this result is demonstrated by two independent tests. We find that the two-peak spectrum can be explained by the different characteristic time scales of functionally different elements of the land carbon cycle. The peak at 4 years results from the collective response of carbon pools whose dynamics is governed by fast processes, namely pools representing living vegetation tissues (leaves, fine roots, sugars, and starches) and associated litter. The peak at 100 years results from the collective response of pools whose dynamics is determined by slow processes, namely the pools that represent the wood in stem and coarse roots, the associated litter, and the soil carbon (humus). Analysis of the response functions that characterize these two groups of pools shows that the pools with fast dynamics dominate the land carbon response only for times below 2 years. For times above 25 years the response is completely determined by the pools with slow dynamics. From 100 years onwards only the humus pool contributes to the land carbon response.

Guilherme L. Torres Mendonça et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on npg-2021-10', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Guilherme Torres Mendonça, 24 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on npg-2021-10', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Guilherme Torres Mendonça, 13 Jun 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on npg-2021-10', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Guilherme Torres Mendonça, 24 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on npg-2021-10', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Guilherme Torres Mendonça, 13 Jun 2021

Guilherme L. Torres Mendonça et al.

Model code and software

Supplementary material for “Identification of linear response functions from arbitrary perturbation experiments in the presence of noise - Part II. Application to the land carbon cycle in the MPI Earth System Model” Torres Mendonca, G., Pongratz, J., and Reick, C. H. http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-0F06-2

Guilherme L. Torres Mendonça et al.

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