09 Jun 2023
 | 09 Jun 2023

Spatial biases reduce the ability of earth system models to simulate soil heterotrophic respiration fluxes

Bertrand Guenet, Jérémie Orliac, Lauric Cécillon, Olivier Torres, Laura Sereni, Philip A. Martin, Pierre Barré, and Laurent Bopp

Abstract. Heterotrophic respiration (Rh) is, at a global scale, one of the largest CO2 fluxes between the earth’s surface and atmosphere and may increase in the future. Yet, the capacity of Earth System Models (ESMs) to reproduce this flux has never been evaluated, causing uncertainty in resulting CO2 flux estimates. In this study, we combine recently released observational data on Rh and ESM simulations to evaluate, for the first time, the ability of 13 ESMs to reproduce Rh. Only four of the 13 tested were able to reproduce the total Rh flux but spatial analysis underlined important bias compensation. We observed that mean annual precipitation was the most important driver explaining the difference between ESM simulations and observation-derived product of Rh with higher bias between ESM simulations and Rh products where precipitation was high. Based on our results, next-generation ESMs should focus on improving the response of Rh to soil moisture.

Bertrand Guenet et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-922', Ben Bond-Lamberty, 13 Jun 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Bertrand Guenet, 14 Jun 2023
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-922', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Jun 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Bertrand Guenet, 12 Sep 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-922', Anonymous Referee #2, 04 Jul 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Bertrand Guenet, 12 Sep 2023

Bertrand Guenet et al.

Bertrand Guenet et al.


Total article views: 441 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
343 75 23 441 6 7
  • HTML: 343
  • PDF: 75
  • XML: 23
  • Total: 441
  • BibTeX: 6
  • EndNote: 7
Views and downloads (calculated since 09 Jun 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 09 Jun 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 449 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 449 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 22 Sep 2023
Short summary
Heterotrophic respiration fluxes are a major flux between surfaces and the atmosphere, but Earth system models do not yet represent them correctly. Here we benchmarked Earth system models against observation based products and we identified the important mechanisms that need to be imporved in the next-generation Earth system models.