Evaluation of land surface models in reproducing satellite derived leaf area index over the high-latitude northern hemisphere. Part II: Earth system models
This is the final version of the article. Available from MDPI via the DOI in this record.
Leaf Area Index (LAI) is a key parameter in the Earth System Models (ESMs) since it strongly affects land-surface boundary conditions and the exchange of matter and energy with the atmosphere. Observations and data products derived from satellite remote sensing are important for the validation and evaluation of ESMs from regional to global scales. Several decades' worth of satellite data products are now available at global scale which represents a unique opportunity to contrast observations against model results. The objective of this study is to assess whether ESMs correctly reproduce the spatial variability of LAI when compared with satellite data and to compare the length of the growing season in the different models with the satellite data. To achieve this goal we analyse outputs from 11 coupled carbon-climate models that are based on the set of new global model simulations planned in support of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. We focus on the average LAI and the length of the growing season on Northern Hemisphere over the period 1986-2005. Additionally we compare the results with previous analyses (Part I) of uncoupled land surface models (LSMs) to assess the relative contribution of vegetation and climatic drivers on the correct representation of LAI. Our results show that models tend to overestimate the average values of LAI and have a longer growing season due to the later dormancy. The similarities with the uncoupled models suggest that representing the correct vegetation fraction with the associated parameterizations; is more important in controlling the distribution and value of LAI than the climatic variables. © 2013 by the authors.
This work was funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme under Grant Agreements number 238366 (GREENCYCLESII project) and 282672 (EMBRACE project).
Vol. 5, Iss. 8, pp. 3637 - 3661