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Title: Soil Moisture Stress as a Major Driver of Carbon Cycle Uncertainty

Abstract

Future projections suggest an increase in drought globally with climate change. Current vegetation models typically regulate the plant photosynthetic response to soil moisture stress through an empirical function, rather than a mechanistic response where plant water potentials respond to changes in soil water. This representation of soil moisture stress may introduce significant uncertainty into projections for the terrestrial carbon cycle. We examined the use of the soil moisture limitation function in historical and future emissions scenarios in nine Earth system models. We found that soil moisture-limited productivity across models represented a large and uncertain component of the simulated carbon cycle, comparable to 3–286% of current global productivity. Approximately 40–80% of the intermodel variability was due to the functional form of the limitation equation alone. Our results highlight the importance of implementing mechanistic water limitation schemes in models and illuminate several avenues for improving projections of the land carbon sink.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
  2. Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States)
  3. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States); Columbia Univ., Palisades, NY (United States). Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1539745
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1459241
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0014363
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Geology

Citation Formats

Trugman, A. T., Medvigy, D., Mankin, J. S., and Anderegg, W. R. L. Soil Moisture Stress as a Major Driver of Carbon Cycle Uncertainty. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018gl078131.
Trugman, A. T., Medvigy, D., Mankin, J. S., & Anderegg, W. R. L. Soil Moisture Stress as a Major Driver of Carbon Cycle Uncertainty. United States. doi:10.1029/2018gl078131.
Trugman, A. T., Medvigy, D., Mankin, J. S., and Anderegg, W. R. L. Tue . "Soil Moisture Stress as a Major Driver of Carbon Cycle Uncertainty". United States. doi:10.1029/2018gl078131. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1539745.
@article{osti_1539745,
title = {Soil Moisture Stress as a Major Driver of Carbon Cycle Uncertainty},
author = {Trugman, A. T. and Medvigy, D. and Mankin, J. S. and Anderegg, W. R. L.},
abstractNote = {Future projections suggest an increase in drought globally with climate change. Current vegetation models typically regulate the plant photosynthetic response to soil moisture stress through an empirical function, rather than a mechanistic response where plant water potentials respond to changes in soil water. This representation of soil moisture stress may introduce significant uncertainty into projections for the terrestrial carbon cycle. We examined the use of the soil moisture limitation function in historical and future emissions scenarios in nine Earth system models. We found that soil moisture-limited productivity across models represented a large and uncertain component of the simulated carbon cycle, comparable to 3–286% of current global productivity. Approximately 40–80% of the intermodel variability was due to the functional form of the limitation equation alone. Our results highlight the importance of implementing mechanistic water limitation schemes in models and illuminate several avenues for improving projections of the land carbon sink.},
doi = {10.1029/2018gl078131},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 13,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

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Cited by: 12 works
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