BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Changes in Boreal Lakes have Broad Climate Impacts
Published: February 15, 2012
Posted: August 21, 2012

Climate change may alter lake area and cause other changes in high-latitude, terrestrial-surface properties, which, in turn, affect climate. BER scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used a lake model, recently developed at LBNL, in the Community Land Model (CLM4-LISSS) and coupled into the Community Earth System Model. This new version corrected a previous underestimation of lake area under present conditions and predicted spring cooling and fall warming of 1°C throughout large areas of Canada and the United States. The predicted diurnal temperature range decreased by up to 4°C in the summer, bringing predictions closer to observations. A projected loss of lakes in some permafrost regions under doubled CO2 slightly enhanced net daytime warming in those regions. Correcting the under-estimation of mainly boreal lake area caused changes in distant Southern Ocean winds, which play an important role in the carbon cycle driving CO2 upwelling from the deep ocean into the atmosphere. These changes were also analyzed in an idealized ocean-only "aqua-planet" model with prescribed sea-surface temperatures for which relatively small (2°C) decreases in high-latitude surface temperatures caused shifts in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone and Southern Ocean winds. The improved CLM lake model represents an important step forward in simulating potential climate feedbacks in high-latitude systems. In addition to atmospheric interactions, changes in inundation and thermokarst lakes can lead to potentially important changes in surface greenhouse gas emissions.

References: Subin, Z. M., L. N. Murphy, F. Li, C. Bonfils, and W. J. Riley. 2012. "Boreal Lakes Moderate Seasonal and Diurnal Temperature Variation and Perturb Atmospheric Circulation: Analyses in CESM1," Tellus A 64, 15639. DOI: 10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.15639. (Reference link)

Subin, Z. M., W. J. Riley, and D. Mironov. 2012. "An Improved Lake Model for Climate Simulations: Model Structure, Evaluation, and Sensitivity Analyses in CESM1," Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 4, M02001. DOI: 10.1029/2011MS000072. (Reference link)

Contact: Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237, Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Carbon Cycle, Nutrient Cycling

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)