Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-188
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-188
09 Feb 2024
 | 09 Feb 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Consistency of global carbon budget between concentration- and emission-driven historical experiments simulated by CMIP6 Earth system models and suggestion for improved simulation of CO2 concentration

Tomohiro Hajima, Michio Kawamiya, Akihiko Ito, Kaoru Tachiiri, Chris Jones, Vivek Arora, Victor Brovkin, Roland Séférian, Spencer Liddicoat, Pierre Friedlingstein, and Elena Shevliakova

Abstract. Anthropogenically emitted CO2 from fossil fuel use and land use change is partly absorbed by terrestrial ecosystems and the ocean, while the remainder retained in the atmosphere adds to the ongoing increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Earth system models (ESMs) can simulate such dynamics of the global carbon cycle and consider its interaction with the physical climate system. The ESMs that participated in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) performed historical simulations to reproduce past climate–carbon cycle dynamics. This study investigated the cause of CO2 concentration biases in ESMs and identified how they might be reduced. First, we compared simulated historical carbon budgets in two types of experiments: one with prescribed CO2 emissions (the emission-driven experiment, “E-HIST”) and the other with prescribed CO2 concentration (the concentration-driven experiment, “C-HIST”). As CMIP7 design is being considered it is important to explore any differences or implications in what these variations can tell us. The findings confirmed that the multi-model means of the carbon budgets simulated by one type of experiment generally showed good agreement with those simulated by the other. However, the multi-model average of cumulative compatible fossil fuel emission diagnosed from the C-HIST experiment was lower by 35 PgC than that used as the prescribed input data to drive the E-HIST experiment; the multi-model average of simulated CO2 concentration for 2014 in E-HIST was higher by 7 ppmv than that used to drive C-HIST. Second, we investigated the potential linkages of two types of carbon cycle indices: simulated CO2 concentration in E-HIST and compatible fossil fuel emission in C-HIST. It was confirmed quantitatively that the two indices are reasonable indicators of overall model performance in the context of carbon cycle feedbacks, although most models cannot accurately reproduce the cumulative compatible fossil fuel emission and thus cannot reproduce the CO2 concentration precisely. Third, analysis of the atmospheric CO2 concentration in five historical eras enabled identification of periods that caused the concentration bias in individual models. Further analysis based on a combination of four types of historical experiments suggested non-negligible impacts of non-CO2 effects on the carbon cycle, implying their potential importance for future projections. It is suggested that this non-CO2 effect is the reason why the magnitude of the natural land carbon sink in historical simulations is difficult to explain based on analysis of idealized experiments. Finally, accurate reproduction of land use change emission is critical for better reproduction of the global carbon budget and CO2 concentration. The magnitude of simulated land use change emission not only affects the level of net land carbon uptake but also determines the magnitude of the ocean carbon sink in the emission-driven experiment.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Tomohiro Hajima, Michio Kawamiya, Akihiko Ito, Kaoru Tachiiri, Chris Jones, Vivek Arora, Victor Brovkin, Roland Séférian, Spencer Liddicoat, Pierre Friedlingstein, and Elena Shevliakova

Status: open (until 12 Jul 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-188', William Wieder, 15 Feb 2024 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Tomohiro Hajima, 28 Feb 2024 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-188', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Apr 2024 reply
  • CC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-188', Stephen E. Schwartz, 03 Jun 2024 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC2', Tomohiro Hajima, 05 Jun 2024 reply
Tomohiro Hajima, Michio Kawamiya, Akihiko Ito, Kaoru Tachiiri, Chris Jones, Vivek Arora, Victor Brovkin, Roland Séférian, Spencer Liddicoat, Pierre Friedlingstein, and Elena Shevliakova

Data sets

CMIP6 simulations Modeling centers contributed CMIP6 https://www.wcrp-climate.org/wgcm-cmip/wgcm-cmip6

Tomohiro Hajima, Michio Kawamiya, Akihiko Ito, Kaoru Tachiiri, Chris Jones, Vivek Arora, Victor Brovkin, Roland Séférian, Spencer Liddicoat, Pierre Friedlingstein, and Elena Shevliakova

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Short summary
This study analyzes atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global carbon budgets simulated by multiple Earth system models, using several types of simulations. We successfully identified problems of global carbon budget in each model. We also found urgent issues that should be solved in the latest generation of models, land use change CO2 emissions.