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PI-Submitted Research Highlights for
Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program

Soil Carbon Cycle Confidence and Uncertainty

Will Wieder
University of Colorado, Boulder


04 Dec 2017

Developing a testbed for global soil carbon modeling.

The Science 
Soils represent the largest terrestrial carbon pool on Earth. Yet emerging theories regarding stabilization of soil organic matter remain poorly represented in global-scale models; thus, underestimating the true uncertainty associated with potential terrestrial carbon cycle — climate feedbacks.  

The Impact
This work builds the capacity to test emerging ecological theories in global-scale models, informs future research needs, and affords avenues to test soil biogeochemical theory, refine model features, and accelerate advancements across scientific disciplines.

Models presented in this work are some of the first to begin explicitly considering biotic activity in global-scale biogeochemical models.  By forcing them under a common land model, these results are some of the first to begin quantifying the uncertainty associated with potential soil carbon responses to changes in plant productivity, temperature, and moisture and global scales. Notably, the models made divergent projection s about the fate of these soil carbon stocks over the 20th century, with models either gaining or losing over 20 Pg C globally between 1901 and 2010.

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

(PI Contact)
Will Wieder
University of Colorado, Boulder

This work was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research (BER) under award numbers: TES DE-SC0014374, BSS DE-SC0016364, Environmental Research, RUBISCO SFA. As well as support from the US Department of Agriculture NIFA 2015-67003- 23485, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.  NA14OAR4320106.

Wieder, WR et al Carbon cycle confidence and uncertainty: Exploring variation among soil biogeochemical models Global Change Biology (2017) DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13979

Related Links
Source code is available at github.com/wwieder/biogeochem_testbed_1.0

Code available at github.com/wwieder/bio- geochem_testbed_1.0

Cumulative changes in global soil carbon stocks simulated in the testbed in the full transient simulation by: CASA-CNP, MIMICS, and CORPSE (green, purple, and brown lines, respectively).

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