AbstractWater and carbon fluxes simulated by twelve Earth System Models (ESMs) participated in the Phase 5 of the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP5) over several recent decades were evaluated using three functional constraints that are derived from both model simulations, or 4 global datasets and 736 site-year measurements. Three functional constraints are ecosystem water-use-efficiency (WUE), light-use-efficiency (LUE) and the partitioning of precipitation (P) into evapotranspiration (ET) and runoff based on the Budyko framework. Although values of these three constraints varied significantly with time scale, and should be quite conservative if being averaged over multiple decades. The results showed that both WUE and LUE simulated by the ensemble mean of 12 ESMs were generally lower than the site measurements. Simulations by the ESMs were generally consistent with the broad pattern of energy-controlled ET under wet conditions and soil water controlled ET under dry conditions, as described by the Budyko framework. However, the value of the parameter in the Budyko framework ω obtained from fitting Budyko curve to the ensemble model simulation (1.74) was was larger than the best fitted value of ω to the observed data (1.28). Globally, ensemble mean of multiple models, although performing better than any individual model simulations, still underestimated the observed WUE, LUE and overestimated ET/P ratio, as a result of over-estimation in ET and under-estimation in GPP. Our results suggest that future model development should focus on improving the algorithms of the partitioning of precipitation into ecosystem ET and runoff and the coupling of water and carbon cycles for different land use types.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Feb 13, 2018
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