Exploring Climate-Carbon Cycle Interactions with the Earth System Models
Speaker: Elena Shevliakova, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Changes in climate have potential to affect the global carbon cycle through changes in ecosystems distribution and functioning. While considerable attention has been devoted to modeling the effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration on climate and to the assessment of the ecological impacts of climate change, the potential feedbacks between biosphere and climate are far less understood. NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) has been developing the next generation Earth System Model (ESM) to advance scientific understanding of how Earth’s biogeochemical cycles interact with the climate system. Recent studies with coupled climate-carbon cycle models indicate the possibility of a large positive carbon cycle feedback to the climate system, which will have implications for mitigation strategies of the future atmospheric CO2 concentration. A number of experiments with the state-of-the-art ESMs and new scenarios of representative concentrations pathways (RCPs) is planned for the AR5 IPCC assessment to quantify future climate changes and the carbon cycle perturbations.