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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
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    LPJmL4 - A dynamic global vegetation model with managed land - Part 1: Model description
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2018) Schaphoff, S.; Von Bloh, W.; Rammig, A.; Thonicke, K.; Biemans, H.; Forkel, M.; Gerten, D.; Heinke, J.; Jägermeyr, J.; Knauer, J.; Langerwisch, F.; Lucht, W.; Müller, C.; Rolinski, S.; Waha, K.
    This paper provides a comprehensive description of the newest version of the Dynamic Global Vegetation Model with managed Land, LPJmL4. This model simulates - internally consistently - the growth and productivity of both natural and agricultural vegetation as coherently linked through their water, carbon, and energy fluxes. These features render LPJmL4 suitable for assessing a broad range of feedbacks within and impacts upon the terrestrial biosphere as increasingly shaped by human activities such as climate change and land use change. Here we describe the core model structure, including recently developed modules now unified in LPJmL4. Thereby, we also review LPJmL model developments and evaluations in the field of permafrost, human and ecological water demand, and improved representation of crop types. We summarize and discuss LPJmL model applications dealing with the impacts of historical and future environmental change on the terrestrial biosphere at regional and global scale and provide a comprehensive overview of LPJmL publications since the first model description in 2007. To demonstrate the main features of the LPJmL4 model, we display reference simulation results for key processes such as the current global distribution of natural and managed ecosystems, their productivities, and associated water fluxes. A thorough evaluation of the model is provided in a companion paper. By making the model source code freely available at we hope to stimulate the application and further development of LPJmL4 across scientific communities in support of major activities such as the IPCC and SDG process.
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    Impacts devalue the potential of large-scale terrestrial CO2 removal through biomass plantations
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2016) Boysen, L.R.; Lucht, W.; Gerten, D.; Heck, V.
    Large-scale biomass plantations (BPs) are often considered a feasible and safe climate engineering proposal for extracting carbon from the atmosphere and, thereby, reducing global mean temperatures. However, the capacity of such terrestrial carbon dioxide removal (tCDR) strategies and their larger Earth system impacts remain to be comprehensively studied—even more so under higher carbon emissions and progressing climate change. Here, we use a spatially explicit process-based biosphere model to systematically quantify the potentials and trade-offs of a range of BP scenarios dedicated to tCDR, representing different assumptions about which areas are convertible. Based on a moderate CO2 concentration pathway resulting in a global mean warming of 2.5 °C above preindustrial level by the end of this century—similar to the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5—we assume tCDR to be implemented when a warming of 1.5 °C is reached in year 2038. Our results show that BPs can slow down the progression of increasing cumulative carbon in the atmosphere only sufficiently if emissions are reduced simultaneously like in the underlying RCP4.5 trajectory. The potential of tCDR to balance additional, unabated emissions leading towards a business-as-usual pathway alike RCP8.5 is therefore very limited. Furthermore, in the required large-scale applications, these plantations would induce significant trade-offs with food production and biodiversity and exert impacts on forest extent, biogeochemical cycles and biogeophysical properties.
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    Potential effects of climate change on inundation patterns in the Amazon Basin
    (Chichester : John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2013) Langerwisch, F.; Rost, S.; Gerten, D.; Poulter, B.; Rammig, A.; Cramer, W.
    Floodplain forests, namely the Várzea and Igapó, cover an area of more than 97 000 km2. A key factor for their function and diversity is annual flooding. Increasing air temperature and higher precipitation variability caused by climate change are expected to shift the flooding regime during this century, and thereby impact floodplain ecosystems, their biodiversity and riverine ecosystem services. To assess the effects of climate change on the flooding regime, we use the Dynamic Global Vegetation and Hydrology Model LPJmL, enhanced by a scheme that realistically simulates monthly flooded area. Simulation results of discharge and inundation under contemporary conditions compare well against site-level measurements and observations. The changes of calculated inundation duration and area under climate change projections from 24 IPCC AR4 climate models differ regionally towards the end of the 21st century. In all, 70% of the 24 climate projections agree on an increase of flooded area in about one third of the basin. Inundation duration increases dramatically by on average three months in western and around one month in eastern Amazonia. The time of high- and low-water peak shifts by up to three months. Additionally, we find a decrease in the number of extremely dry years and in the probability of the occurrence of three consecutive extremely dry years. The total number of extremely wet years does not change drastically but the probability of three consecutive extremely wet years decreases by up to 30% in the east and increases by up to 25% in the west. These changes implicate significant shifts in regional vegetation and climate, and will dramatically alter carbon and water cycles.
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    Climate-driven interannual variability of water scarcity in food production potential: A global analysis
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2014) Kummu, M.; Gerten, D.; Heinke, J.; Konzmann, M.; Varis, O.
    Interannual climatic and hydrologic variability has been substantial during the past decades in many regions. While climate variability and its impacts on precipitation and soil moisture have been studied intensively, less is known on subsequent implications for global food production. In this paper we quantify effects of hydroclimatic variability on global "green" and "blue" water availability and demand in global agriculture, and thus complement former studies that have focused merely on long-term averages. Moreover, we assess some options to overcome chronic or sporadic water scarcity. The analysis is based on historical climate forcing data sets over the period 1977-2006, while demography, diet composition and land use are fixed to reference conditions (year 2000). In doing so, we isolate the effect of interannual hydroclimatic variability from other factors that drive food production. We analyse the potential of food production units (FPUs) to produce a reference diet for their inhabitants (3000 kcal cap-1 day -1, with 80% vegetal food and 20% animal products). We applied the LPJmL vegetation and hydrology model to calculate the variation in green-blue water availability and the water requirements to produce that very diet. An FPU was considered water scarce if its water availability was not sufficient to produce the diet (i.e. assuming food self-sufficiency to estimate dependency on trade from elsewhere). We found that 24% of the world's population lives in chronically water-scarce FPUs (i.e. water is scarce every year), while an additional 19% live under occasional water scarcity (water is scarce in some years). Among these 2.6 billion people altogether, 55% would have to rely on international trade to reach the reference diet, while for 24% domestic trade would be enough. For the remaining 21% of the population exposed to some degree of water scarcity, local food storage and/or intermittent trade would be enough to secure the reference diet over the occasional dry years.
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    The challenges of applying planetary boundaries as a basis for strategic decision-making in companies with global supply chains
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2017) Clift, R.; Sim, S.; King, H.; Chenoweth, J.L.; Christie, I.; Clavreul, J.; Mueller, C.; Posthuma, L.; Boulay, A.-M.; Chaplin-Kramer, R.; Chatterton, J.; DeClerck, F.; Druckman, A.; France, C.; Franco, A.; Gerten, D.; Goedkoop, M.; Hauschild, M.Z.; Huijbregts, M.A.J.; Koellner, T.; Lambin, E.F.; Lee, J.; Mair, S.; Marshall, S.; McLachlan, M.S.; Milà i Canals, L.; Mitchell, C.; Price, E.; Rockström, J.; Suckling, J.; Murphy, R.
    The Planetary Boundaries (PB) framework represents a significant advance in specifying the ecological constraints on human development. However, to enable decision-makers in business and public policy to respect these constraints in strategic planning, the PB framework needs to be developed to generate practical tools. With this objective in mind, we analyse the recent literature and highlight three major scientific and technical challenges in operationalizing the PB approach in decision-making: first, identification of thresholds or boundaries with associated metrics for different geographical scales; second, the need to frame approaches to allocate fair shares in the 'safe operating space' bounded by the PBs across the value chain and; third, the need for international bodies to co-ordinate the implementation of the measures needed to respect the Planetary Boundaries. For the first two of these challenges, we consider how they might be addressed for four PBs: climate change, freshwater use, biosphere integrity and chemical pollution and other novel entities. Four key opportunities are identified: (1) development of a common system of metrics that can be applied consistently at and across different scales; (2) setting 'distance from boundary' measures that can be applied at different scales; (3) development of global, preferably open-source, databases and models; and (4) advancing understanding of the interactions between the different PBs. Addressing the scientific and technical challenges in operationalizing the planetary boundaries needs be complemented with progress in addressing the equity and ethical issues in allocating the safe operating space between companies and sectors.
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    Human alterations of the terrestrial water cycle through land management
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2008) Rost, S.; Gerten, D.; Heyder, U.
    This study quantifies current and potential future changes in transpiration, evaporation, interception loss and river discharge in response to land use change, irrigation and climate change, by performing several distinct simulations within the consistent hydrology and biosphere modeling framework LPJmL (Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land). We distinguished two irrigation simulations: a water limited one in which irrigation was restricted by local renewable water resources (ILIM), and a potential one in which no such limitation was assumed but withdrawals from deep groundwater or remote rivers allowed (IPOT). We found that the effect of historical land use change as compared to potential natural vegetation was pronounced, including a reduction in interception loss and transpiration by 25.9% and 10.6%, respectively, whereas river discharge increased by 6.6% (climate conditions of 1991-2000). Furthermore, we estimated that about 1170km3yr-1 of irrigation water could be withdrawn from local renewable water resources (in ILIM), which resulted in a reduction of river discharge by 1.5%. However, up to 1660km3yr-1 of water withdrawals were required in addition under the assumption that optimal growth of irrigated crops was sustained (IPOT), which resulted in a slight net increase in global river discharge by 2.0% due to return flows. Under the HadCM3 A2 climate and emission scenario, climate change alone will decrease total evapotranspiration by 1.5% and river discharge by 0.9% in 2046-2055 compared to 1991-2000 average due to changes in precipitation patterns, a decrease in global precipitation amount, and the net effect of CO2 fertilization. A doubling of agricultural land in 2046-2055 compared to 1991-2000 average as proposed by the IMAGE land use change scenario will result in a decrease in total evapotranspiration by 2.5% and in an increase in river discharge by 3.9%. That is, the effects of land use change in the future will be comparable in magnitude to the effects of climate change in this particular scenario. On present irrigated areas future water withdrawal will increase especially in regions where climate changes towards warmer and dryer conditions will be pronounced.