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

BER Research Highlights


The Millennial Model: In Search of Measurable Pools and Transformations for Modeling Soil Carbon in the New Century
Published: December 20, 2017
Posted: January 31, 2018

The Science
Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory built a new conceptual and numerical model — the Millennial model — that defines soil pools based on measurements. They evaluated how its predictions differ from the widely-used Century model.

The Impact
This is the first model to use measurements of particulate organic matter (POM), aggregation, low molecular weight carbon (LMWC) and mineral-associated organic matter (MAOM) to reflect the latest understanding of biological, chemical and physical transformations in soils.

Summary
Soil organic carbon (SOC) can be defined by measurable chemical and physical pools, such as mineral-associated carbon, carbon physically entrapped in aggregates, dissolved carbon, and fragments of plant detritus. Yet, most soil models use conceptual rather than measurable SOC pools. What would the traditional pool-based soil model look like if it were built today, reflecting the latest understanding of biological, chemical, and physical transformations in soils? A team led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory propose a new conceptual model—the Millennial model—that defines pools as measurable entities. First, they discussed relevant pool definitions conceptually and in terms of the measurements that can be used to quantify pool size, formation, and destabilization. They then developed a numerical model following the Millennial model conceptual framework to evaluate against the Century model, a widely-used standard for estimating SOC stocks across space and through time. The Millennial model predicts qualitatively similar changes in total SOC in response to single factor perturbations when compared to Century, but different responses to multiple factor perturbations. Furthermore, they reviewed important conceptual and behavioral differences between the Millennial and Century modeling approaches, and the field and lab measurements needed to constrain parameter values. The Millennial model is proposed as a simple but comprehensive framework to model SOC pools and guide measurements for further model development.

Contacts (BER PM)
Daniel Stover
SC-23.1
Daniel.Stover@science.doe.gov (301-903-0289)

(PI Contact)
Rose Abramoff
Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
rzabramoff@lbl.gov

Funding
The Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group provided funding for the “Celebrating the 2015 International Decade of Soil — Understanding Soil's Resilience and Vulnerability,” workshop held at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, USA on March 14-16, 2016. The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research provided meeting space. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is managed and operated by the Regents of the University of California under contract DE-AC02-05CH11231 with the U.S. Department of Energy. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by the University of Tennessee-Battelle, LLC, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. Argonne National Laboratory is managed by University of Chicago Argonne, LLC, under contract DE-AC02-06CH11357 with the US Department of Energy.

Publications
Abramoff, R.Z., X. Xu, M. Hartman, S. O’Brien, W. Feng, E.A. Davidson, A.C. Finzi, D. Moorhead, J. Schimel, M.S. Torn, M.A. Mayes, “The Millennial Model: In Search of Measurable Pools and Transformations for Modeling Soil Carbon in the New Century.” Biogeochemistry (2017). [DOI:10.1007/s10533-017-0409-7]

Related Links
https://github.com/email-clm/Millennial

Topic Areas:

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

Division: SC-23.1 Climate 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

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)