skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Mathematical Reconstruction of Land Carbon Models From Their Numerical Output: Computing Soil Radiocarbon From C Dynamics

Abstract

Radiocarbon (14C) is a powerful tracer of the global carbon cycle that is commonly used to assess carbon cycling rates in various Earth system reservoirs and as a benchmark to assess model performance. Therefore, it has been recommended that Earth System Models (ESMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 report predicted radiocarbon values for relevant carbon pools. However, a detailed representation of radiocarbon dynamics may be an impractical burden on model developers. Here, we present an alternative approach to compute radiocarbon values from the numerical output of an ESM that does not explicitly represent these dynamics. The approach requires computed 12C stocks and fluxes among all carbon pools for a particular simulation of the model. From this output, a time-dependent linear compartmental system is computed with its respective state-transition matrix. Using transient atmospheric 14C values as inputs, the state-transition matrix is then applied to compute radiocarbon values for each pool, the average value for the entire system, and component fluxes. We demonstrate the approach with ELMv1-ECA, the land component of an ESM model that explicitly represents 12C, and 14C in 7 soil pools and 10 vertical layers. Results from our proposed method are highly accurate (relative errormore » <0.01%) compared with the ELMv1-ECA 12C and 14C predictions, demonstrating the potential to use this approach in CMIP6 and other model simulations that do not explicitly represent 14C.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1]
  1. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Jena (Germany)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Jena (Germany); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1631615
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Metzler, Holger, Zhu, Qing, Riley, William, Hoyt, Alison, Müller, Markus, and Sierra, Carlos A. Mathematical Reconstruction of Land Carbon Models From Their Numerical Output: Computing Soil Radiocarbon From C Dynamics. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019ms001776.
Metzler, Holger, Zhu, Qing, Riley, William, Hoyt, Alison, Müller, Markus, & Sierra, Carlos A. Mathematical Reconstruction of Land Carbon Models From Their Numerical Output: Computing Soil Radiocarbon From C Dynamics. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019ms001776
Metzler, Holger, Zhu, Qing, Riley, William, Hoyt, Alison, Müller, Markus, and Sierra, Carlos A. Fri . "Mathematical Reconstruction of Land Carbon Models From Their Numerical Output: Computing Soil Radiocarbon From C Dynamics". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019ms001776. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1631615.
@article{osti_1631615,
title = {Mathematical Reconstruction of Land Carbon Models From Their Numerical Output: Computing Soil Radiocarbon From C Dynamics},
author = {Metzler, Holger and Zhu, Qing and Riley, William and Hoyt, Alison and Müller, Markus and Sierra, Carlos A.},
abstractNote = {Radiocarbon (14C) is a powerful tracer of the global carbon cycle that is commonly used to assess carbon cycling rates in various Earth system reservoirs and as a benchmark to assess model performance. Therefore, it has been recommended that Earth System Models (ESMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 report predicted radiocarbon values for relevant carbon pools. However, a detailed representation of radiocarbon dynamics may be an impractical burden on model developers. Here, we present an alternative approach to compute radiocarbon values from the numerical output of an ESM that does not explicitly represent these dynamics. The approach requires computed 12C stocks and fluxes among all carbon pools for a particular simulation of the model. From this output, a time-dependent linear compartmental system is computed with its respective state-transition matrix. Using transient atmospheric 14C values as inputs, the state-transition matrix is then applied to compute radiocarbon values for each pool, the average value for the entire system, and component fluxes. We demonstrate the approach with ELMv1-ECA, the land component of an ESM model that explicitly represents 12C, and 14C in 7 soil pools and 10 vertical layers. Results from our proposed method are highly accurate (relative error <0.01%) compared with the ELMv1-ECA 12C and 14C predictions, demonstrating the potential to use this approach in CMIP6 and other model simulations that do not explicitly represent 14C.},
doi = {10.1029/2019ms001776},
journal = {Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems},
number = 1,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Icbm: the Introductory Carbon Balance Model for Exploration of soil Carbon Balances
journal, November 1997


Compiled records of carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO 2 for historical simulations in CMIP6
journal, January 2017

  • Graven, Heather; Allison, Colin E.; Etheridge, David M.
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 10, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-10-4405-2017

Observations and modelling of the global distribution and long-term trend of atmospheric 14 CO 2
journal, January 2010


A new theory of plant-microbe nutrient competition resolves inconsistencies between observations and model predictions
journal, March 2017

  • Zhu, Qing; Riley, William J.; Tang, Jinyun
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 27, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1002/eap.1490

Transient dynamics of terrestrial carbon storage: mathematical foundation and its applications
journal, January 2017


Multiple models and experiments underscore large uncertainty in soil carbon dynamics
journal, October 2018

  • Sulman, Benjamin N.; Moore, Jessica A. M.; Abramoff, Rose
  • Biogeochemistry, Vol. 141, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10533-018-0509-z

Weaker land–climate feedbacks from nutrient uptake during photosynthesis-inactive periods
journal, October 2018


A general mathematical framework for representing soil organic matter dynamics
journal, November 2015

  • Sierra, Carlos A.; Müller, Markus
  • Ecological Monographs, Vol. 85, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1890/15-0361.1

The use of radiocarbon 14C to constrain carbon dynamics in the soil module of the land surface model ORCHIDEE (SVN r5165)
journal, January 2018

  • Tifafi, Marwa; Camino-Serrano, Marta; Hatté, Christine
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 11, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-11-4711-2018

C4MIP – The Coupled Climate–Carbon Cycle Model Intercomparison Project: experimental protocol for CMIP6
journal, January 2016

  • Jones, Chris D.; Arora, Vivek; Friedlingstein, Pierre
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 9, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-9-2853-2016

Toward more realistic projections of soil carbon dynamics by Earth system models: SOIL CARBON MODELING
journal, January 2016

  • Luo, Yiqi; Ahlström, Anders; Allison, Steven D.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 30, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GB005239

Representing Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Carbon Interactions in the E3SM Land Model: Development and Global Benchmarking
journal, July 2019

  • Zhu, Qing; Riley, William J.; Tang, Jinyun
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 11, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018MS001571

GSWP-2: Multimodel Analysis and Implications for Our Perception of the Land Surface
journal, October 2006

  • Dirmeyer, Paul A.; Gao, Xiang; Zhao, Mei
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 87, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-87-10-1381

Soil carbon and nitrogen mineralization: Theory and models across scales
journal, July 2009


Comparison With Global Soil Radiocarbon Observations Indicates Needed Carbon Cycle Improvements in the E3SM Land Model
journal, May 2019

  • Chen, Jinsong; Zhu, Qing; Riley, William J.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 124, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018JG004795

Impulse response functions of terrestrial carbon cycle models: method and application
journal, April 1999


Modeling radiocarbon dynamics in soils: SoilR version 1.1
journal, January 2014

  • Sierra, C. A.; Müller, M.; Trumbore, S. E.
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 7, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-7-1919-2014

The distribution of soil phosphorus for global biogeochemical modeling
journal, January 2013


Qualitative Theory of Compartmental Systems
journal, March 1993

  • Jacquez, John A.; Simon, Carl P.
  • SIAM Review, Vol. 35, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1137/1035003

The International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) System: Design, Theory, and Implementation
journal, November 2018

  • Collier, Nathan; Hoffman, Forrest M.; Lawrence, David M.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 10, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018MS001354

Assessing future nitrogen deposition and carbon cycle feedback using a multimodel approach: Analysis of nitrogen deposition
journal, January 2005


Global distribution of atmospheric phosphorus sources, concentrations and deposition rates, and anthropogenic impacts: GLOBAL ATMOSPHERIC PHOSPHORUS
journal, December 2008

  • Mahowald, Natalie; Jickells, Timothy D.; Baker, Alex R.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 22, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008GB003240

Transit-time and age distributions for nonlinear time-dependent compartmental systems
journal, January 2018

  • Metzler, Holger; Müller, Markus; Sierra, Carlos A.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 115, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705296115

Observations and modeling of biomass and soil organic matter dynamics for the grassland biome worldwide
journal, December 1993

  • Parton, W. J.; Scurlock, J. M. O.; Ojima, D. S.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 7, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/93GB02042

The effect of vertically resolved soil biogeochemistry and alternate soil C and N models on C dynamics of CLM4
journal, January 2013


Radiocarbon constraints imply reduced carbon uptake by soils during the 21st century
journal, September 2016


Improved modelling of soil nitrogen losses
journal, July 2015


Energy Storage and the Balance of Producers and Decomposers in Ecological Systems
journal, April 1963


Traceable components of terrestrial carbon storage capacity in biogeochemical models
journal, March 2013

  • Xia, Jianyang; Luo, Yiqi; Wang, Ying-Ping
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12172

Contribution of sorption, DOC transport and microbial interactions to the 14C age of a soil organic carbon profile: Insights from a calibrated process model
journal, September 2015


Predictability of the terrestrial carbon cycle
journal, December 2014

  • Luo, Yiqi; Keenan, Trevor F.; Smith, Matthew
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 21, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12766

Mineral properties, microbes, transport, and plant-input profiles control vertical distribution and age of soil carbon stocks
journal, April 2017