Department für Geographie





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Earth system and vegetation modeling

Fachgebiet: Modellierung

Projektleitung: , Prof. Dr. Julia Pongratz
Projektwissenschaftler: M.Sc. Selma Bultan, M.Sc. Raphael Ganzenmüller, , Prof. Dr. Julia Pongratz

Laufzeit: 04/2018 - 12/2025

Our group contributes to the development of three model types:



1. Bookkeeping model BLUE


Our group has developed the bookkeeping of land-use emissions model, BLUE (see Hansis et al. 2015 in Global Biochem. Cycles for further information). It is one of three models providing the bookkeeping estimate of land-use emissions to the Global Carbon Project's annual global carbon budgets and the only spatially explicit model, providing global estimates at kilometer scale (or aggregated to country level). It provides the possibilities of testing various accounting methods (Hansis et al. 2015 in Global Biochem. Cycles) and a detailed split into gross emission and removal fluxes. 

BLUE CO2 fluxes are part of full-greenhouse gas assessments of the land-use (AFOLU/LULUCF) sectors (see Hong et al. 2021 in Nature and Petrescu et al. 2020 in Earth Syst. Sci. Data for further information). Model development to integration of high-resolution observational data is supported by the Stifterverband project "High-resolution monitoring of avoided carbon emissions and carbon restoration potentials from land use change"  (project page) and VERIFY. Contact Julia Pongratz for the most recent land-use emissions estimates.



2. Dynamic global vegetation model JSBACH/ICON-L


JSBACH is a state-of-the art DGVM, which simulates biogeochemical and biogeophysical vegetation processes. We co-develop JSBACH in close collaboration with the hosting Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (for further information see the documentation including many publications on evaluation).


Our key focus lies on the integration of land management (see the LAMACLIMA project for further reference). The development of a forest age structure in JSBACH4 combining unprecedented accuracy with computational efficiency was an important milestone (Nabel et al. 2019 in Geosci. Model. Dev.). JSBACH participates regularly in international model intercomparisons, most notably TRENDY.



3. Earth system model MPI-ESM/ICON-ESM


JSBACH is the land component of the Max Planck Institute's Earth System Models MPI-ESM and ICON-ESM. With these modeling tools simulations of climate and the carbon cycle covering the Holocene to the future can be performed.


The MPI-ESM has participated in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project CMIP6 (as well as previous CMIPs), which provides, among others, climate projections until the year 2100 for a range of socioeconomic pathways.

(c) DKRZ

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