Climate response to physiological forcing of carbon dioxide simulated by the coupled Community Atmosphere Model (CAM3.1) and Community Land Model (CLM3.0)
Long Cao, Govindasamy Bala, Ken Caldeira, Ramakrishna Nemani & George Ban-Weiss
An investigation of the physiological effects of doubled CO2 concentration on vegetation using the Community Atmospheric Model and the Community Land Model. The results are notably smaller than those produced in other simulations, possibly highlighting flaws in these models.
Cao, L., G. Bala, K. Caldeira, R. Nemani, and G. Ban-Weiss, 2009. Climate response to physiological forcing of carbon dioxide simulated by the coupled Community Atmosphere Model (CAM3.1) and Community Land Model (CLM3.0). Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L10402, doi:10.1029/2009GL037724.
Increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 decrease stomatal conductance of plants and thus suppress canopy transpiration. The climate response to this CO2-physiological forcing is investigated using the Community Atmosphere Model version 3.1 coupled to Community Land Model version 3.0. In response to the physiological effect of doubling CO2, simulations show a decrease in canopy transpiration of 8%, a mean warming of 0.1K over the land surface, and negligible changes in the hydrological cycle. These climate responses are much smaller than what were found in previous modeling studies. This is largely a result of unrealistic partitioning of evapotranspiration in our model control simulation with a greatly underestimated contribution from canopy transpiration and overestimated contributions from canopy and soil evaporation. This study highlights the importance of a realistic simulation of the hydrological cycle, especially the individual components of evapotranspiration, in reducing the uncertainty in our estimation of climatic response to CO2-physiological forcing.