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Title: Biospheric feedback effects in a synchronously coupled model of human and Earth systems

Fossil fuel combustion and land-use change are the two largest contributors to industrial-era increases in atmospheric CO 2 concentration. Projections of these are thus fundamental inputs for coupled Earth system models (ESMs) used to estimate the physical and biological consequences of future climate system forcing. While historical datasets are available to inform past and current climate analyses, assessments of future climate change have relied on projections of energy and land use from energy economic models, constrained by assumptions about future policy, land-use patterns, and socio-economic development trajectories. We show that the climatic impacts on land ecosystems drives significant feedbacks in energy, agriculture, land-use, and carbon cycle projections for the 21st century. We also find that exposure of human appropriated land ecosystem productivity to biospheric change results in reductions of land area used for crops; increases in managed forest area and carbon stocks; decreases in global crop prices; and reduction in fossil fuel emissions for a low-mid range forcing scenario. Furthermore, the feedbacks between climate-induced biospheric change and human system forcings to the climate system demonstrated here are handled inconsistently, or excluded altogether, in the one-way asynchronous coupling of energy economic models to ESMs used to date.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [4] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [5] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [4]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Climate Change Science Inst.
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  5. Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, Washington, DC (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-05CH11231
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Climate Change
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2017; Journal ID: ISSN 1758-678X
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; biogeochemistry; climate and earth system modelling; socioeconomic scenarios
OSTI Identifier: